Friday, July 1, 2011

Honoka, Musashi Koyama (穂のか)

There are a few places in Tokyo that I like believe in enough to go back to, and a very few that I feel compelled to post more than once about. Obviously Honoka is one of them.

I don't think they remember me despite the nice welcome card, because I was there quite some time ago, and only once. It made an impression on me, but I'm sure they're used to that. It's really great.
OMG, 2 hours of all-you-can-drink for Y2.7k? Seriously? Actually, I think this is meant to encourage turnover, because the master made it clear that we couldn't order more after 2 hours, and we would have to leave at 2.5 hours sharp. Sure enough, the bill came right on schedule.

I had a bizarro-world experience earlier in the week where a master lectured me about how sake is made, so it's impossible that there's new sake released in summer. Honoka's master didn't bullshit like that - he said "Come around here behind the counter and I'll pull out what we've got. That turned out to be 5 types, including the Yamamoto with the pretty blue label. Actually the Taka on the extreme left is also summery, and the Nabeshima sparkling nigori was aaaaaawesome. That Kameizumi with the handwritten label was probably my favorite, but the others (Raifuku, new-to-me Ippaku Suisei, Kaiun, Juyondai Honmaru, Kokken) were of course never less than very good.

The food is also good to excellent, and I only include 'good' because the horse, top middle, was strangely lame. Not pictured is the selection of 5 flavored misos (omakase from their ~25 options), some of which were astounding (preserved fish guts and miso, who knew?). The assortment of raw wheat gluten (bottom middle) is also good, and if you were going to make a ham-katsu, you'd be well-served to make it from smoky bacon layered with vegetables before frying.

All too soon (and I mean that; we could've stayed, although like the first time I would soon have been in danger of passing out), we were manhandled to the street. You got busy with the map of their sakes, pointing to his home just to say "I'm a total fool from the middle of nowhere!" It's good he doesn't know about this blog.

Fortunately you do. And you owe it to yourself to go to Honoka at least once.

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