Friday, December 10, 2010

Iroha Sushi, Kanda (いろは鮨)

This was sort of a standout lunch - not really recommended, just all manner of surprises. Everyone has walked by the place since it's right in the middle of the Kanda west-side shotengai. I've avoided it for years now because it looked like it would be cheap and tired. OMG, I've worked in Otemachi for yearS now.

What do you think? It looks kinda cool, now that I really look at it. The sake posters are for the place upstairs, which doesn't look bad either.

So we had 8 colleagues total, with semi-regular appearers like Zoner and Todd, others who don't have nicknames (yet), Zabay visiting from London (first time we've met despite working together for 4 years), Chewy visiting from Singapore on vacation (haven't seen her since we went to Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens with her husband, must have been March '08), ... and the biggest surprise of this whole lunch was that I managed to find a counter with seats for 8 people at 11:45. Aside from the 4 guys you can see, and the back room, we took up the whole place. It is not easy being 'the food guy', because everyone expects miracles, and seating 8 people in Tokyo for lunch without a reservation is a minor miracle.

Another surprise: they're just not set up for this kind of lunch rush. I'm not complaining at all about the fact that they're cutting all the fish when you order - in fact it's a positive surprise, because with the crush of people, I figured they'd be pre-cutting. This guy, and the other chef, were absolute machines...but still couldn't keep up. People were waiting outside when we left.  You can tell they've been doing it for a long time - not just the speed, precision, and lack of need to look at what they're doing, but the kinves. This guy's knife was about 5 inches long, clearly from being sharpened every day for 30 years.

And a final surprise - good fish. We watched them make up a few plates that looked incredible, and everyone was getting excited. I asked - they were the tokujou level, which is Y2.5k (totally looked worth it though). Based on that I upgraded from regular to jou. In the end, I was surprised how small it was, but they also knocked Y500 off the price, and even discounted all the people who got the nami level. I'm pretty sure they were running out of fish, or didn't get everything they needed this morning, and were trying to stretch to cover other people.

I'd go back here. It's a good lunch sushi.
03-3254-6882

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