Monday, August 1, 2011

Inonaka, Kinshicho (井のなか)

Yooooooshta. It's official. I have now been to all of the good sake places in Tokyo. Think you know another? Nope. Not good. This is the last one. Boo-yah! Good, I'm glad we could all agree on that. Back to work.

A few months ago, I spent a chilly evening on the bike exploring Kinshicho and Kameido. Didn't find much other than the OK sake bar I went to, and this excellent-looking place that was full. At long last, in good Peacocky company, the dream became reality.

I do love how they have all kinds of sake paraphernalia - even the bench outside is from a sake brewer.

As is the water. After walking around all afternoon in the heat, we musta drunk 2 whole bottles of this. That was tough when they kept trying to pour into the little cups, but once we managed to hold onto the bottle, OK. Remember that if you go.

They have a terrific counter here - the U-shaped kind, but not all old and desolate like some places. This is certainly an upper-class izakaya, and one that's self-conscious about it.

Also remember that their sake list is quirky and cool. For instance, they have a few 'anchor' brewers from whom they have a whole range of sake. Fusou Tsuru, on the right here and on the water bottle above, is a new one on me.

So was Asahi Giku, I think. What I was really excited by though was the several varieties of Gasanryu that they had. Can't go past that stuff, and it doesn't disappoint. We had their contest sake, 'Extreme Moon' (no kidding; all their sakes are called something-moon), and it was as awesome as the bottle I drank at home the week before.

The food is on the edge of very good - the starter of chicken and beans in mustardy, olive oily sauce was delicious, as were the beans, as were the lovingly plated slices of seaweed-cured snapper. The soba croquettes were quite decent, but the miso-cured cheese and sake lees pizza were dull.

Still, what were we here for? Right, just to say goodbye to Peacock, and drink some nice sake. Now that I think about it, maybe they're going for cult sake or something? Yuki no Bousha is getting there, and Yorokobi Gaijin certainly qualifies. Koigawa is kinda rare too.

As are good friends, so make the most of 'em.

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