Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fuusan, Machida (風燦 原町田店)

Tuesday night saw the team back in Machida for an away game. Woody recommended the Big Fuu to me last year after I checked in at Ibuki, but as soon as I walked up to it I realized that I had seen it last year on that Ibuki trip and decided not to go. Which would be unfair to a better place, but Ibuki is really top class, and there's no shame in not being that good.
A master that's wearing an Ocean Pacific shirt and sharpening his knife when you come in should be a decent sign. The reason Woody came across this place was that it's non-smoking, and he's always cruising for non-smokey izakayas on Kinen Style. Which is a pretty neat idea for a site until the government starts outlawing smoking like we had happen in America. Which seems like a smart comment until you think that Japan takes forever to do anything.

The picture on the right is the master, drawn by his daughter. The shop is non-smoking for her benefit, which I didn't entirely understand but didn't ask about. Maybe she was under the counter.
10 choices is fine for a sake list. The waitress acted as the sommelier, although I didn't exactly think she knew what was what, and it's odd that the master doesn't care that much about it. All 10 are good choices, names you should know and are likely to enjoy. We had some Gassan, and some Sharaku, Tamagawa, and Gasanryu. Interestingly, the Gasanryu was 'Ura', the new approach they're taking by using non-Yamagata rice. I don't know if they brewed it differently too, but it was very different than their usual style, dryer and cleaner to my untrained eye.

I'll spare you the rest of the food menu - the master's handwriting is heavily stylized and nearly impossible to read for an amateur like me.
Actually the menu overall was heavily stylized. I couldn't craft an order from it, and my enjoyment suffered from that all night.

My enjoyment of this plate of fish didn't suffer at all. Every item was delicious. The octopus was exemplary. I ordered a whole separate plate but didn't receive it.
My enjoyment of this glass of Gassan wasn't limited either, nor bounded by space and time. Pretty sure the first time I had Gassan was at the dearly departed Nekoya in Tsukiji. That was a cool place, or at least I remember it that way. Sometimes it's hard to say when you've been going to sake izakaya this aggressively for this long and your tastes have changed this much whether your memories are accurate. I feel old.
ahahaha, I wasn't even trying to segue, but this is perfect. I feel old, but not as old as this oil...If I understood correctly, Fuu has been open for 2 years and is just topping up the fry oil every night. Certainly the outside of the pot was black and caked with sludge in a way I haven't seen since Woody and I ate at Otafuku. The fried food was good here too. Not a coincidence, I tell you.
oooh, this was a highlight. Gobo chips, tofu, and fish bits, all tatsuta-fried (cornstarch batter, I now remember). Delicious, and the thickened broth on all of it was also excellent. You have to get this if you go here. I know how likely that is, but it's still an important point of order.
Not totally sure what this was. I mean, it's definitely eggplants, and they were stuffed with something that may have been ground chicken, and the sauce was a tomato-chili confection, but beyond that I'm lost. Like, why is the sauce so dark? And why was it so tasty? And why didn't they have white rice so I pour the remnants all over a bowl of it?
Nice piece of grilled sawara, like the stuff that was on the dish on the counter in the early picture. Grilled fish can be so dry in Japanese restaurants; this was good. Maybe he used a splash of oil from the historic fryer for essence.
These were sitting on the counter in raw form, and I was inclined to get them, but the waitress would not stop saying I should order them, so I waited until the end. They're fried spring rolls with a lot of wood ear fungus (kikurage, if you like) and then seafood bits mixed in. Sure, they were good. I just knew she was trying to get rid of them.
Which is understandable, because there were only 2 or 4 patrons other than us the whole night. We were first in at 6:30 (the time I had reserved for...) and were chatting pleasantly right up until the waitress announced last order at 9:30. Where does the time go?

Down the evil Machida goat-hole, no doubt. 

It bears saying, this place is nice but isn't a patch on Ibuki. If you're in Machida for some crazy reason, that's your go-to. 

1 comment:

  1. Stay as long as you like! I do not count the time.

    This looks like fun. The crusty pot reminds me of Sabroso.