Friday, August 20, 2010

Umejin, Kiyosumi Shirakawa (梅仁)

Mmmmmm, rollin' around on a Friday night, after the sun goes down and after practicing guitar for an hour. Nothing particular in mind, but I took a book, so I was ready to settle in and read. After 20 or 30 minutes of aimless cycling, I passed Umejin, and remembered that it had looked sorta good a few months ago. While trying to figure out what their deal was, I realized that the little whiteboard actually lists their sake selection, so of course I was right in at that point.

It's nothing too special, but a nice enough place. The master wasn't talkative, but once it got late enough, people left and it didn't seem like others were coming in. He took off his hat and sat down behind the counter, then asked some of the usual 'where ya from' questions before launching into "What do you think about Obama" and "The Japanese political system is broken, isn't it?" Good times, good language practice. 

As I said, about a dozen options in the sake section. Nothing too exciting here, but you wouldn't go thirsty or die of boredom. Naturally there were plenty of other choices in the other genres too.

And with a simple order and magisterial wave of my hand, everything was in place. I've gotten a little spoiled by all the great places, so it kinda bums me out when someone pours the drinks in the back room, but I trust them. And I like the cut-glass water glass, even if it was molded instead of cut (do you know how much the real ones cost?!).

Nothing goes better with a book on the evolution of Japan's rock music scene than sake and fish. Somehow, these were extremely high quality - not what I expected at a neighborhood place in mid-August. Incidentally, I've corrected a lot of Japanese people recently who think 'nama' should translate as 'rare' ("Can you eat rare fish?") Sashimi is raw, but I blame this mistake on the educational system, which would never put teachers in the embarrassing position of trying to say 'raw'. The 'aw' sound is almost impossible for Japanese people.

There was a big thing on the menu about the beautiful lemon-yellow eggs and 30-million-year-old salt that they put in the eggs (someone has obviously not been reading the book of Genesis). It was just an omelet.

And I had a toasted rice ball (triangle, I guess) to round things off and prepare for another 30 minutes of riding around. 

I'd go back here, but I wouldn't make a big deal about it. I guess there are places in my neighborhood that I'd go to first, which should be convenient for you as well since this is a bit far from the station.

Just another night in paradise

By the way, what the heck was Phil Collins thinking in that video?

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