Monday, January 17, 2011

Mifune, Kanda (三船)

Mmmmm, so appetizing. Why ever did I pass on this place?

No, I was having one of those indecisive days where I just walk around by myself for exercise, and eventually pick a place for a quick lunch before getting back to the office.

The dining landscape has shifted a bit in Kanda; in fact some places that I always meant to try have gone in the last couple months. I can't remember what was in this space before, but it's become one of a set of new places that are in the 'bare, modern, cheap' izakaya style. Put that together with the spate of new restaurant openings in Monnaka, and I maintain that it's the economy - the new places are only coming because optimistic people are taking the place of people who failed and left openings, and the new style is noticeably down-market.

[Incidentally, I was here late and took this picture on my way out - in case you're wondering why it says 'closed' by the door. I like the way restaurants say they're closed - it's either this "Now making arrangements" or else "Now preparing." One place near my apartment leaves the 'now preparing' sign up all the time, even overnight and when they're closed for the day. I'm glad they're working so hard to prepare, but I don't quite believe it.]

Why do I say this is down-market? It's got a funny theme, devotion to samurai-movie actor Toshiro Mifune (Rashomon, Yojimbo, Seven Samurai...sheesh), it's got these stylish dark-grey walls and sword-shaped decorations...and a bare ceiling, cheap tables, and complete lack of anything else. I wouldn't want to spend an evening here (other branches look nicer; I'm thinking this is maybe a franchisee since only the big Roppongi one is on the web site of the parent, Tokyo Restaurants Factory).

For lunch, though, the atmosphere is no problem. This pleasantly-colored thing is the 'seafood bukkake bowl' set. One could be forgiven for suspecting that I ordered it just to hear the waitress call "One bukkake please!" to the kitchen. The soup with abundant dried yuba and the bowl of vinegared fried fish were nice, but the real attraction is the main bowl. What you're supposed to do is break the egg, pour your sauce all over the seafood, and mix until it's gooey.

More brightly-colored than tasty, I think. Lots of salmon means we're in a cheap mode, but it was pretty good at Y800 for the set. This, I suppose, is the kind of lunch I should never complain about considering some readers have no options for lunch, and still others live in, shock horror, foreign countries.

We deal in lead, friend.
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