Thursday, March 31, 2011

Komeraku, Otemachi (ひとくち茶漬け 八十八楽 こめらく)

The green-ness here is quite striking, isn't it? As are the low ceilings. These old-fashioned buildings in central Tokyo were not built with claustrophobics in mind. Or people were smaller back then. My favorite example of that style was the old JA building, which was dark and dirty and half-shuttered as well as claustrophobic. Now it's two blocks away and open, airy, and excrutiatingly modern. In fact it's the type of building that I look at and think "I bet that's going to look really weird in 30 years. I can't imagine how, but I bet."

This place is in the basement of Shin-Otemachi ("the long building across the street"), and I've avoided going to it for years now because...well, rice in soup? for lunch? That's it? It turned out to be more entertaining than expected. It also turned out to be a sister shop to the very first place I ate near the office. Maybe I can die happy now. [They have 15 shops, with slightly different themes, mainly in southeast Tokyo. This one does fried food, kushiage, at night.]

They're also open very late. I was there after 3, and there were 5 staff. I couldn't even tell if they were closing at any point.

Here, check it out: for...$10 or $12, you get a 'three course' lunch. I know it's only soup on rice, with a little topping, but it was pleasant, and surprisingly they made and served them in sequence, not together. The first bowl is spicy fish roe, and they said they were getting it from down south in Fukuoka where it's famous. The second is chicken and burdock root. The third is Chinese pickles (I forgot how to say these or I wouldn't have ordered them), and conveniently illustrates the fact that for each bowl you can choose fish soup or pork-bone soup. There's more rice in there than you can see from the camera angle.

And more rice make you full-up.

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