Friday, January 28, 2011

Magoroku, Monzennakacho (深川 孫六)

This was very pleasing. Very very pleasing - brilliant yakitori plus game meat and jizake. How did I manage to go this long without trying it? Mainly it was my unreasonable anti-chicken bias. I'm recently converted, and now there are several more chicken places I should hit around town. You can keep your everything-but-the-cluck Birdland places; I'll be near home enjoying myself.

Magoroku isn't just a chicken place. The menu extends into game meat, perfect for the season, and slightly, barely, into vegetables: boiled turnip, a bit of bell pepper, sesame sauce. The menu didn't have much else vegetative. The master just shrugged when we asked.

You might notice the empties outside - the menu extends into this whole 'nihonshu' thing too. It's quirky and interesting - Nabeshima, some new brands, some aged sake. A big mix.

And the dishes extend into some really excellent ceramics. This is a tokkuri that I might be tempted to buy if it showed up in a store.

And boooooy do I wish there was a store selling these duck sausages. First bite I ate at this restaurant was this, and that was enough to make me say "This place is recommended." The house-cured venison prosciutto (!) was interesting, more wet and less flavorful than I would have expected. Compared to the version we ate the next night (!) it wasn't quite as good.

This dish was great though, wasn't it? It's just the torizala for the sausage and ham. Aside from liking it, it's even better because it's antique - the edge is chipped and it's generally elegant in a shabby way. Or the inverse.

Ay-yah, the grilled items were excellent. The master here is young and serious, as is his (?) wife. It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken, and he's getting it done. The quality of the bird in the negima was wonderful, while the tsukune were yet another variation on the theme. These were perferrable to me because they have individual balls rather than one long turd; more surface area to get crispy.

Someone said 'game meat' before. You could order half a duck if you wanted it, or you could order a venison steak. I was excited to get it, then skeptical when I saw him cut it (small, thin) then excited when I ate it (tasty, delicious). Grilled onions were mostly an attempt to get some vegetation.

And zousui was someone's attempt to shime. I didn't try it.

But I wish I had tried this place a year ago!

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