Friday, March 12, 2010

Shinkomachi, Kiba (新小町)

Ahhhh, I kinda forgot to take a picture of the exterior here. It's funny, where the place I went just before was empty, this was packed. I squeezed into the counter, which required several people to move their coats (and later required me to move mine when the last 2 seats filled up. Come to think of it, this makes me even more annoyed at the place I was earlier turned away from - two open seats at the counter, but I could see the master weigh the politics of putting me between his other valued customers, and he decided it wasn't worth it and said they were 'full'.)

With a name including 'Sake Warehouse', you'd expect the list to be pretty good. I was a little bummed that I knew most of the names on it (though that's an increasing problem these days), but it's better than it looks. They've gotten around the 'normalcy' problem by going upscale - for example, the top right entry in this picture is Dewazakura, a very normal thing to offer, but it's the ginjo label, which is well-regarded. In general I think these are decent choices, and the prices are reasonable.

The best thing about this place was the two guys next to me, suits from a nearby office. They were, get this, bottle salesmen. When they saw me looking at the sake list, they were compelled to run down it and say which of the breweries were their clients ('His client. My client. His client.'), and they also gave me a good, long discourse on how it's pretty cool when your job is to travel around the north of Japan visiting breweries and taking people out to dinner. I can see that.
This is what the produce looks like; it's spring, so expect to see more tiny squid in the future, as well as lots of nanohana. Serving the sake in glasses like this is interesting, but the whole overflow-into-the-saucer thing is a drag - hard to pour, easy to spill.

Some flounder, just to nibble on. It was good! Other than the sake and the guys next to me (oh, and the cute old couple on my left who came in for a late dinner), there wasn't much attraction here. It's a normal local drinking spot, and the staff were too busy to be friendly. It was also brutally smoky.

Still, there are actually very few places with a nihonshu focus around Monnaka (I know, perish the though, something that's not great about it?!), so it's nice to know about this one.

Nono, no, no, no, nanonono.

Incidentally, who IS the guy that posts on Tabelog as nao-sann? He's been to all these places, and his profile picture is a Sheltie. I've love to meet him.

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