Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yunrin, Awajicho (神田 雲林)

In a funny little corner between Kanda, Akiba and Ochanomizu is this triangle holding a bunch of preserved buildings (like the famous Yabu and Matsuya sobas, but also an inscrutable chicken sukiyaki specialist, monkfish stew house Isegen, and a lovely sweets cafe), but also a good Italian, and even a well-rated Chinese. It's a good lunch meeting point for Big Bird and I, and for some reason I wanted to try the Chinese. They don't seem to use the first floor (maybe only at night?) so follow the bird upstairs...

It's pretty fancy - dinners are expensive (as are most of the places mentioned above - expensive in that way old Japanese restaurants are, where they're charging you for the history). For lunch there are Y1k noodle choices, so it's within reach for anyone.

We both thought the entry was nice enough to remark on, despite the picture not being very impressive.

Likewise, I enjoyed the little touches decorating the table. Not visible in this picture is an empty of Pavillion Rouge; they're encouraging customers to enjoy expensive wine to mismatch with their Chinese delicacies.

That was supposed to be a joke, you know. I don't usually like Chinese food. This was quite good though! I was enticed enough to make Bird join me in the lowest-level course; the following is (a very good, I think) Y1800.

'Three Fun Starters' were jellyfish with myoga (in focus, actually very good), fried wakasagi in sweet black vinegar (delicious) and sauced roast pork (fatty, meh).

Next, a quite-mild shrimp and ginko nuts in chili-looking sauce with fried scallions. Oh, and some slices of potato. I can't explain why those things should go together, and in fact they didn't really seem to match. But it all tasted good.

Likewise a dark dish of chopped duck meat with vegetables, sort of a luxury chicken-cashew-nuts, except without the chicken or cashews.

On the menu it said this came with 'pitapan'. That really confused me, because at first I thought of the boy himself, then I thought of pitan. When it arrived, it was immediately clear that it was in fact pita pan, and you were supposed to make a little pita sandwich out of it.

I was so excited that I lost a tooth.

And finally, a choice of how you want the house-special noodles - soupy or dry. These are the dry ones, and as you can see they're sort of 'mapomien', if that's a term. They're those Chinese noodles that cook up very, very hard, and on top is tofu in spicy sauce. It was quite good.

A quick dessert, very simple, very humble. Just fruit with jelly, and a quality almond tofu.

Wow, that was almost worthy of a Recommended.

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