Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Higashitei, Tokyo (東亭, 八重洲)

This alley has a certain draw for me, and hopefully for you too. Since the time I wandered into a place here with Ding (in fact, the sign you see in the top right of the shot is that place), I've been wondering if there were other places of equal quaintness and quality. There may still be, but this was pretty average. Or perhaps above average in terms of sadness. And smokiness. Some other factors averaged it out to an overall average of 'average'.

More of an old man's place, I'd say. There was a painfully old guy at the counter - he could barely walk by himself to go to the toilet, and heaven only knows how he was going to shuffle home after several drinks. The majority of clients were over 50, but even the mama and the younger women there just seemed settled in, or obscured, by the smokey darkness of it all.

There was much kerfuffle and laughter over the idea that I wanted to drink sake; in the end it turned out they only had one bottle of cold sake, and it was Uragasumi, but it was a special bottling and turned out to be quite nice. The fragile old guy said "Ahhhh, you don't know Uragasumi, right, yeah," and I said "Eh, I went to Miyagi recently." And he was puzzled until I explained that it's from Miyagi. Actually he was still puzzled after that, so maybe it was just him.

Well, it's almost Spring and time to go back to healthy, light eating. Consider this a tuneup (except the little mayonnaise problem, of course). The vegetables were skillfully boiled, to tell you the truth - you've got to be pretty accurate to keep broccoli stalks from being too hard or too soft. The skate fins were a little too crispy, but then again I also don't like them when they're underdone. You get a sort of moist, cartilaginous feeling that's unpleasant. The rolled sushi was just something mama dished up, I think because she thought I wasn't eating enough. And the salad is urui, an early-Spring leafy vegetable with a mild-but-bitter taste. As in the beginning of this paragraph, I'm looking forward to warmer weather in many ways, not least of which that it will be fine to eat lots of raw and boiled vegetables as a meal. And if that doesn't make me sound like an old (Japanese) man, nothing will.

Can't find hide nor hair of this place on the interwebs (so Tabelog's 160,000 Tokyo-area restaurants obviously don't cover everything), but if for some reason you really want to go, it's right next to this place, which also looked decent if more modern.

No comments:

Post a Comment