Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hourai, Yaesu (蓬莱)

Cold Noodle Exploration Month (season?) continued today as I wandered through Yaesu looking for a likely candidate among the largish concentration of Chinese places there. Hourai was advertising their construction of cold noodle dishes (it's the white page on the blackboard, so definitely seasonal), and I like the look too.

A very pleasantly family-feeling place, with a lovely Chinese grandmother presiding. And a bemused waiter.  Based on what I saw on other people's plates, I would go back here for the hot food - look tasty, especially the blackened, oily eggplant with ground pork, and good volume as they bring a whole cannister of rice for the table.

But today I had the 俸々鶏冷麺. I was proud that I could read this...but when I pointed without saying anything, grandma rattled it off in that quaint yammer that Chinese people use to communicate. I wish they'd speak Japanese like regular people. Or else go back to their own country, and leave Japan to the rest of us who were...oh, that's not me either. I guess they can stay.

The sesame sauce was delicious, the inclusion of lots of salad was good, and the noodles were pleasantly firm. But the chicken was steamed, and steamed chicken skin just works me the wrong way. Also the lettuce wasn't as fresh as it might have been.
Cooked food, that's the go here.

Did you ever hear rumors of an underground rice paddy in an office in Otemachi? They were true, and it was in the Otemachi Nomura Building on the northeast corner of Otemachi crossing. It was part of the Pasona offices there (a recruiting firm), which they closed last year.

In the random post-lunch walking period today, I realized that the big building Pasona remodeled and moved in to at the Gofukubashi crossing (next one east) now has the same rice paddy, only at ground level. It's a really weird space, in no small part because it's like a big field of rice, only on a raised platform in an office building. There are even bugs and probably snails and stuff, a whole healthy ricey ecosystem. The only thing that's weird is the 'sun', which is 98 massive overhead lights shining yellowish artificial sun on the rice as it grows. Perhaps this is meant to be a 'we can do it' thing, rather than a 'future of farming' thing? The energy consumption can't be justified.

Once again, the cooked food is the thing at Hourai. And the indoor rice is cool and weird.

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