Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tori Ton, Monzen Nakacho

As a second choice to take The Peacocks, this was a bit more gritty than Koto (most things would be, in truth). I've seen Tori Ton for years without going in - maybe it was the 3-foot high doorway that put me off? Turns out they can open a full-size door to let you out if they like you (or does that mean they wanted us gone faster?).

The atmosphere is more or less rough chain izakaya - kinda stylish, but in a well-used way. Big racks of bottles give away the fact that they focus on shochu, and the menu confirms this with a row of 30 potato-based distillations alone. As it was, we stuck with beers (both Ebisu and Sapporo black label on tap) and the fruit-based liqueurs advertized on the wall. You can also ask them about the sake selection; no menu.
Just a couple pictures of food so you can see what you'd be getting into if you went down the rabbit hole here. You can probably guess from the name (sorta like 'chicken-pig') that they focus on grilled meat. We ignored that.

This mentaiko omelette was really good - so fluffy and gooey I thought there must be cheese in it.

This basashi was bad. Not bad like 'OMG, I'm eating a damn horse and it's gross!' bad, but bad like previously-frozen, not thawed, far too lean. Bad as in, not good. There's a big selection of 'alternative' raw foods, so you could have better luck with other items.

As we did with this chicken tenderloin sashimi with plum sauce (I admit, I kinda overdosed by ordering this after already getting the toriwasa. Sorry guys. It won't happen again.). It was really nice - this is why you eat raw chicken. Even the squeamish member of the team eventually came around and tried it, admitting that it was really good. I haven't heard anything about gastrointestinal blowouts, so I think it was OK. I just want to stress, this is not one of those situations where only locals can get away with it (like the way The Peacocks worked themselves up to drinking tapwater in Nam) - the chicken is just fresh, and maybe the birds here don't all have salmonella like they do in the US.

Take that, America!

1 comment:

  1. Jon - We are converts. The missus has been chewing on raw chook daily. I keep telling her that Vietnamese street chicken probably isn't as clean as that in Tokyo but she just doesn't listen.

    We had a great time and are really looking forward to our next exploration with our food guide (that would be you)!

    - Peacock (Male Version)