Monday, December 20, 2010

Kyomachiya, Shin Yurigaoka (京町家)

Here be dragons. The wild spaces of Kanagawa are inhabited by all manner of hulking buildings and commuting dwarves. Falling into a need to journey out here to meet someone is surely my punishment for raising an eyebrow at Common's choice of dwelling (if you've forgotten, Glenn, that's you. Let's get together next year!) - this is farther. Shinyuri is really what you'd call a bedroom community for Tokyo. Outside this massive station complex there's nothing but nice houses in Western-style subdivisions.

Fortunately the station contains a big one of everything you need - supermarket, hotel, department store, movie theater, chain restaurants...and Kyomachiya, which is surely a chain but has such a quirky concept that it's endearing. Fresh fish, Kyoto-style food and good drinks? With an exterior like the titular Kyoto-style rowhouse? Sounds good. And since people in Tokyo usually go out near the office or whatnot, even someone that's lived here for years might not have tried it yet.

Several people have complained to me this year about the rampant commercialization of Christmas in Japan. I don't get it; it seems very mellow compared to America; just think about the crazy house decorations in Pitman, or the lights on that house in the Grove. You don't see that here, I promise.

A funny thing is that the interior made me feel a little like being in a real machiya - especially how long it took to twist and turn through various spaces and get to the counter, where we got what looked like the last two seats. And it's a big place, seating 140, so you know things are busy in Shinyuri

We always order fish liver. This was pretty low-rent; since Poshand pointed it out to me last weekend at the Red Devil (which served us the best fish liver I've had this year), I'm all on alert for the uniformity of color and texture that she says marks processed fish-liver filler sausage. This had a funny taste too. We'll have better soon.

Not a bad buri plate, but it's buri season, and I have a feeling that I'll be eating better buri for Christmas.

Lemme just sneak in that they had a really good selection of jizake for a chain place - at least 20 varieties, not all boring, all grades, and Y290 for 100ml. Ahhhhh, the suburbs!

This is a terrible, terrible old man's joke in pictorial form. In addition to being some OK sliced flounder, would it be funny if I said it was '指刺し'?  I thought not.

C'mon Uncle N, I know I can count on you for an unbiased (and sympathetic) opinion.  [Re-reading this, I feel I should say that I was not implying you're an old man. Sorry. Still wondering how to translate oyaji most appropriately.]

Real Kyoto-style food here, and probably the best order - tofu croquettes, but they weren't veg because they really tasted like there were shrimp shells mixed into the breading. That was a nifty and tasty idea.

Yes, the closeup means "forgot to take a picture".

Equally authentically Kyoto food, it's grilled wheat gluten. Again, this was an OK version, but after my Kyoto bonanza at the end of October, it left me with an overwhelming sense of "The next Kyoto trip can't be far away. Maybe on short notice if it snows. Next year."



  1. yay! shinyuri banzai!! iitokoro yo :-)

  2. oh, that was "koushi-chan" by the way....

  3. Do I have to comment, Jon? It is an Ok pun but I give you extra point being a pictorial pun at that.

    Ankimo in a tube can be decent (one in which you could see different parts of the liver just moulded together) but nothing beats Ankimo prepared on the premises (like one we have at Tako Grill once in a blue moon).

    One last thing, I think I can be your father but not grand father - age wise.