Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farsi Largo!, Nihonbashi

Farsi Largo is Italian for 'big joke' (large farce, get it?) but there's no joke about the cooking here. Good ingredients and good preparation, very professional. The worst thing about the place is this sign on the street, and the crummy old stairwell that leads down to it.
Inside is clean and modern; it could be a Swedish restaurant if they hired the right kind of waitress. The chef was chatting to a family when I came in, and that gave it a homey feel straight away. In fact, the waiter had to tear him away from that conversation to make my lunch (B course, starter, pasta, dessert).
As far as mixed starters go, this was a standout. The ingredients don't vary a lot from place to place, but this chef here seems to be making his own ricotta (unless he has a source, for which I'd be jealous). He's certainly making his own fritatta, and his own herb-crusted seared katsuo, and these were both well beyond what you usually get in places like this for lunch. The sausage and ruccola was good too - again, I've found it's more normal to get thin-sliced, processed salami than something with a bit more hand-cut thickness and hand-made texture to it.
The pasta was a real winner for me, but I'm a real sucker for wide noodles with chunky meat sauces. This was the only handmade pasta of the three available on the lunch course, and as I saw my neighbors order the other two I thought "suckerzzzzz!" This was stewed beef, very tender and falling apart, with komatsuna, a sort of stiffer spinach. Like a cross between spinach and bok choy. And then a lot of cheese on top, and it was exactly what I wanted.
So simple, so humble...but I actually liked this, because the melon sorbet with diced melon was a good contrast (though I'm not sure what the chewy bits in the sorbet were; they were supposed to be there, I know that), and the almond cream on top was delicious. Maybe I need a bottle of amaretto for the house?
You won't go wrong at this place. I'm certain of it, and would be very willing to try it for dinner.
Today's random I-was-walking-by-myself-with-a-camera pictures come to you from the back side of the Mitsukoshi head store (which is not the Ginza one, contrary to what I imagine a lot of people think). It has all these lovely art deco details on it, like the stained glass that says, rather prosaically, "Subway Entrance".  Just as a useless aside, the name 'Mitsukoshi' is a reference to the company's origins in Niigata Prefecture. The '3 koshis' are Echizen, Ecchu and Echigo (where Echi is the same kanji as koshi, 'crossing'), which are three regions of Niigata (whose old name is Echigo - and Mitsukoshi was originally 'Echigoya') - I think it's something to do with the fact that you cross the Great Dividing Range from Tokyo to get there, so it's notable as the 'place on the other side' of something big.
Regardless of all this historical erudition, cab drivers continue to squat and smoke, wearing clever shoes and capri pants and going mono-glove like our dear departed Michael.

1 comment:

  1. keep up the random walking with a camera shots