Friday, August 12, 2011

Kuroza Akatsukirou, Akasaka (赤坂馳走屋 黒座暁樓)

So here we are, all moved out of the apartment and into the last few days of life in Tokyo. In a really weird twist of mind, we stayed at the New Otani, which left us in Akasaka once someone got back from work. The walk around to pick a restaurant for dinner was protracted - partly because it's always that way with me, and partly because I've always thought Akasaka is boring. It's very much there to take money from salarymen, and you have to work hard to separate the worthwhile from the mediocre and chain.

Case in point, it turns out that this charming place with ample style, nice calligraphy, and a fake well in the entryway is a Kiwa Corporation outlet (I didn't know until I looked it up just now, 6 months later). This is Kiwa of 'We have the frontier spirit!' fame, with roots in Chinese food (and several major brands and 100+ shops in that genre) and sub-brands spanning French, Japanese, Italian, 'Asian', American and Foreign. Still, this looks cool, don't it?
Inside too - definitely cool. I guess the chain-ness explains why the staff were more distant than I expected, but that meant they left us alone to cry in our beer.

Or rather our sake, because I've given up on ordering a beer to start things off. This is a perfectly nice list, even if it features a few too many big names for my liking and the prices are a touch high. Anyway, I remember we drank a delicious Kuroushi, and I think that's a good showing for 6 months later and no notes. If I squint, I can see the Daishichi Kimoto in the rack in the picture above, and I think we might have had that too. Despite it being August, my love of kimoto takes preference.

Voila, some food - all reasonably good if not reasonably-priced. Can't remember if we went anywhere after this, but there are no more pictures, so I don't think so. The dark picture is raw octopus bits with wasabi - something I used to choke down when forced to be polite, but now order willingly (it's a great tsumami, you know?). Bottom left, I can never go past mackerel 'log' sushi after the time I had it for lunch on a workday at Kurosawa in Roppongi. And bottom right, it was a sad summer this year since the water eggplant harvest was sharply curtailed. Last year I was eating it for dinner all the time, even at home.

A lot of things were different last year, I guess.

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