Friday, August 21, 2009

Edoshigusa, Kanda (江戸しぐさ)

In its luxurious form, the Japanese lunch box is a collection of various forms of protein. And this was a pretty luxurious form. I think I counted 5 types of protein, but let me reflect. I've developed a theory on Healthy Japanese Food over the years, mainly triggered by the fact that it's often difficult to get anything but meat and fish in restaurants. I think you're mainly supposed to eat at home, and focus on vegetables and rice. Then when you DO go out, it's an excuse to go nuts with the animal products. The Japanese restaurant industry isn't set up to cater to people who eat out all the time, but most restaurants aren't I guess.

My friend Volleyball is a good guy and very accomodating to my whims as far as needing to eat in new restaurants. On this day I promised him some exercise and a brand-new experience - we went to a sector of the map that's been conspicuously empty for some time. I maintain that this is a prefectly respectable way to choose places for lunch. If you haven't been there, you don't know what's there, so you may as well have a look.

Now I know why the map was empty - there's no there there. We checked a couple streets and found them mostly empty except for small office buildings (i.e., the non-food-court variety). Volleyball even popped in to a Western-looking law firm fo terrorize the receptionist with a request for a restaurant recommendation (she came up with Champs de Soleil, not a bad effort but of course strictly off-limits) before heading back to this place on the main street that we had noted by its eNORmous white lantern proclaiming the name Edoshigusa.

That name turns out to mean something like 'Edo philosophy' or 'common sense' or 'the ethic of hospitality and customer service of Old Edo', which is odd when you consider that this place is very modern and smooth. We sat on low white leatherette chairs, the kind where one arm is removed so you can get cozy with your neighbor if that's of interest (it wasn't). And the menu features a number of normal-looking sets (fried chicken, grilled fish) plus the Special Bento.

Special it was. At Y1200, this place is a good find albeit really really far from the office. In addition to the neccessaries of rice and soup, this lovely bento included:
- Cold boiled pork slices with sesame sauce and boiled cabbage
- Grilled beef wrapped around boiled burdock root
- Boiled chicken and vegetables
- Grilled miso-marinated salmon
- Fish cake, amusingly cut thin and sandwiching a bit of sour plum paste
- Omelette and various pickles

Lordy, 6 types of protein, all of them nicely-cooked. That was a pleasant lunch, in good company.

Sounds kinda like something something you'd squeeze into a drink, shigusa

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