Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Edoichi, Otsuka ( 江戸一)

After mixed feelings at Konakara, Woodchips and I were keen to try another venue. I attracted a lot of laughter for my preparedness (when I went to Otsuka before by myself, I made a map showing the 5 likeliest places, and I had it with me tonight too), but I also knew exactly how to navigate to Edoichi. When we arrived, we let out a collective "Buggah!" because I think you'll agree this looks like a shop that's not open. However it must be just power savings. Even my local vegetable shop is doing it - they close at 6 PM now, instead of 7:30. That's weird, and Edoichi is much more picturesque with the lights on and noren out.

Come to think of it, maybe the lack of noren means they were trying not to let people in. Especially people rude enough to take pictures. I swear to you that it wasn't until the end of our stay that I saw the 'no pictures' sign. So Edoichi is famous for its charming atmosphere, and many people have blogged about its ages-old appeal, but none of them have cheeky pictures of the customers like I do.

When you sit, you'll be set up with a tray and glass like this, as well as a view across the service area bounded by the big U-counter. The faces on the other side will probably be different. Although in this atmosphere, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw one of them again.

This cheerful-cheap sashimi was more to our liking than the stuff at the previous venue (and frankly anything better would have been wasted, seeing as we were too).

This is really a 'drinks and snacks' place; the drinks run to hot sake, about 20 types, nothing fancy - and nothing expensive, much of it stocked on the floor under the counter. This was the winter I got into hot sake, so it was no problem (I mean, 2010 was the year I got into sake, so it's all kinda compressed, timeline-wise).

Geez, I look at tabelog and I think "There are 20 reviews and 5 photos. How did I get away with this?!" I guess because no one is looking, including Woodrow, whose cheeky hand intrudes on the frame. Sitting back in the corner is mama, who has most certainly been occupying that seat for roughly 'yonks' or 'a donkey's age', depending on your proclivities. She claimed to remember Woodsworth from his last visit - 10 years ago. That's too charming to dispute, don't you think?

Drinking snacks...to eat while you're drinking. Hot sake. Nothing woosie or weak-flavored here; we've got baby sardine cracker (it's a thin layer of baby fish dried until kinda crisp), grilled spicy fish egg sacks, and on the bottom a grilled pike and a grilled mackerel (fish are snacky food too, because if you eat with chopsticks you can just snag a little bit to alternate with drinks). Nothing to write home about...but you knew that, like we knew it going in, and it wouldn't stop you from stopping by some time, would it?

They must have known I was taking pictures but liked us anyway - I got right up on the abacus and took this, and they laughed about it. I said "This is our receipt", I did, and we all had a good chuckle.

Seriously, when's the last time someone totaled up your bill on an abacus and presented it to you as proof of their correct calculation? That's what I thought. That sums up the charm here - cheap, old-fahsioned, not terrible. It's worth pointing out that it seems like people are mostly in integral groups and don't interact with others or the staff, i.e., it's not a great place to go alone.

As usual, cheeky to take this picture...but there's something about it that contrasted beautifully with Edoichi. The sign visible through the window is a love hotel, if you couldn't tell.

OK, OK, I know you knew.

Incidentally, if I were standing outside Otsuka in the future, I would take 10 steps to the right and proceed down the alley to Kitayama. Better food, much better drinks, similar atmosphere, friendlier staff.

1 comment:

  1. For all you ate and drunk, 6,100 yen for two? That is cheap.