Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gingin, Omori (吟吟)

Boy, Woody and I have been talking about going to this place for months. Boy were we not impressed. That's probably enough as a capsule review, and the lighting was bad so the pictures didn't even come out so well. But I'll soldier on.

This picture's pretty cool though, eh? Despite being quite a small place (basically three tables and a counter), they set aside this sorta outside area for a display of paraphenalia - sake barrels and flags, all from notable producers. Writing this, I just noticed that the green flag in the right corner is from Ganki; probably should have given that another chance since I didn't like it much the first time I had it, at Uogokoro way out in Kasai.

The fridge looks good though, doesn't it? Any time you see that big Jikon label (top, 3rd from right), you know things are going to be OK. They're a small brewer, but a lot of nicer places will have a bottle kicking around. In keeping with the season, I was also excited about the Taka, 2nd from top left, which has a special blue label and little lanterns on it, to create a festival feel and let you know that it's a special summer drink.

Here's the list, should you want to blow it up. I'm sure this changes frequently.

And here's how they pour - glasses atop glass masu (I think they were maybe plastic?). This might look a bit small, but on the other hand the price is low; I didn't notice it anywhere on the menu, but I'm pretty sure the sign outside said every pour is Y450 regardless of what sake it is. Considering that the price of most 1.8l sake bottles doesn't exceed Y3k, that seems a fair price for the consumer and an acceptable profit for the shop. Sensible.

As I said, the lighting was dark and moody and not conducive to photography. Just going quickly from left to right and down, we had grilled horse mackerel, tiny grilled whole fish whose name I forget, croquettes (shop specialty, very good), raw vegetables, raw chicken, salad, starter plate (with some cool novelties like strawberry liqueur jelly and beef salad), ganmodoki (can't think of a good English word!), more croquettes, grilled fish heads that they gave us as a present since we had a limited-time reservation (it's really popular, so we had to leave at 7:30), pickled cream cheese, rice-bran pickles, and a great sashimi assortment.

Lest ye be one of the readers who occasionallie askes "How can ye eate all of those mervellous foodes and still be stayin' so slym?" I want to remind you that this was food for six people.

I grant you, two of them were a bit smaller than average, but that's more a function of age than anything else.

I'm not totally sure what didn't impress us. The food was good, the sake selection was interesting...I thin kit was just that the beverages seemed not-so-fresh. It's always disheartening when you're served the bottom of the bottle, and it seemed like most everything we ordered was in the camp.

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