Tuesday, January 5, 2010

M&C Cafe, Tokyo (Oazo 4th)

Ever have hayshi rice? It's sorta like curry rice, except that the sauce is more like a super-thick meat reduction, with more fruit and veg in it, and there's next to no actual meat or veg included. Just mix it up and eat. Supposedly it was invented by the founder of the Maruzen book store chain, and after hearing a recommendation or two I finally made it over there for lunch. It's sad that it took this long since it's right across the street and the cafe is in the English section of the book store. It's also sad that it wasn't very exciting. It made me dream of going back to Bistro Bonnes Mares, actually. And I'm now free to do that!

Without belaboring the point, when you order the flagship item, the Y1000 Hayashi Rice, you get a plate (fortunate, considering how sticky and stain-inducing the sauce is) with a small football of rice on it, and the rest of the plate covered with a thin layer of hot, congealing brown sauce. If you haven't eaten something like this, it's hard to explain the attraction - so simple, so unadorned, so unabashedly brown. M&C's version is a little thin, and has a distinct reddish cast that I attribute to extra helpings of tomato and fruit. It's decent, but a bit simplistic and too sweet.

The cafe is nice - a bunch of little tables and a large one for solo diners. It would be a great place to waste an afternoon if you didn't have to get back to a go-go high-pressure Japanese corporate office like me!


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