Friday, May 21, 2010

Hannariya, Nihonbashi (はんなりや)

It's always a sad day when someone leaves a great firm like mine. It's even worse when it's one of the very few people that you can really count as a friend. I wanted to find something a little special for this lunch with Linji; Hannariya turned out to be really nice, but not that special, and anyway it turns out she's not leaving for another month so I've got more time to scheme.  There are a bunch of neat little alleys in the corner of Nihonbashi just northeast of the bridge, and I tabelogged the top-ranked lunch one...

which is a Kyoto-style 'banzai' restaurant that does affordable lunch sets and (I bet) much fancier dinner presentations. Although I don't have the impression that banzai food, where many of the items are pre-cooked and presented in big bowls on the counter which the staff then serve from, can ever be all that fancy.

Should you make the journey, you'll find 4 or 5 options based on this core set. The egg seems to be their hook; if you get this basic set for Y1000, that'll be your 'main'. I'd advise this - the extra cost to add a side item isn't worth it.  The variety here was of course very varmly velcomed; for some reason the little cup of spinach with sesame sauce was prob'ly my favorite, but the tofu salad, boiled eggplant, and other dishes were all pretty good if homey. Banzai is usually kinda homey though, isn't it? It's all things that take well to sitting out, waiting to be heated and eated.

The egg was multi-layered and luxurious. The fish was very good too, just not worth the supplemental Y700 that you pay to get the grilled fish, sashimi or grilled meat sets (unless there was some other thing included in those sets that I didn't see). I'm not sure what the little gently-pickled pickles were, but I wish I knew. The shape and layering was almost like lemongrass, though of course they weren't that.

There's nothing like beautiful weather, good food, a festive pepper and 90 minutes of pleasant chat to put you in a good mood.  I think 'hannari' is Kansai dialect for 'great', and I can't complain about their self-assessment. Too bad about the neighborhood graffiti though.


1 comment:

  1. Jon, Coud the gently-pickled pickles be "はじかみしょうが"