Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brasserie Nature, Funabashi (BRASSERIE 菜厨瑠)

Boarding the Sobu line at Tokyo. People were backed up all the way across the platform (most of you have been here - it's the same as the Narita Express platform), and the train was sardine-packed all the way out to Funabashi. I was traveling out to meet reader Rocky, who recently moved from Alabama to Chiba City's Shinjuku neighborhood (moved back, I should say). Let me just reinforce: this is what happens if you write to me - we end up having dinner. Don't be shy. You never when being friendly to one person will lead you to meet another person, and that person will accidentally cause you to meet someone. Could be fate, if you like that sort of thing.

Extensive research indicates that Brasserie Nature is the best French-themed natural-ingredient restaurant open in Funabashi on Wednesdays. Who knew Wednesday was the designated weekly holiday for several of the others? It was in a pretty good little neighborhood southeast of the station, past the Keisei tracks. Some Shimokita-esque standing bars, some grubby izakayas. I think we could amuse ourselves if we were out there again, but no need to restrict to the bottom of the market.

If we were in Nature again, we might actually order the 'salmon oyakozala' again. I just made up the name, but with Norvegian salmon and salmon eggs, it's a clever name. It was surprisingly good; you know how I often avoid salmon on the grounds that other (wild) fish are more exciting. Maybe I should re-evaluate that bias.

This is really the style of the place - mixed plates for two. Considering the location and style, especially the 'nature' thing, it's meant to be more 'two women who like natural food' rather than a date place. And it's definitely popular - the front room was full, and Rocky and I had to sit in the quieter back room.

This is the 'raclette and vegetables' plate, and the only thing I really feel like commenting on is the satoimo, which they had partially peeled and carved to resemble mushrooms. Cute.

One wouldn't be surprised that I was hungry after sharing the above two plates. Going for the whole hog (so to speak), I requested the pork special - slices of Flower Pork from Chiba with a delightfully insouciant topping of foie gras. You know, it wasn't bad. This was seriously toro pork, and that could get you down, but the pork and foie were both very tasty. The sides and pickles, meh.

This is nice enough for a casual Wednesday if you're in Funabashi but you might also consider freestyling and seeing what happens. Minus waiting time, the express train back to Kiba was surprisingly quick.

I mean, I coulda slept through it, especially the unfamiliar Kiba approach.

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