Thursday, April 28, 2016

Soregashi, Gotanda (酒場 それがし)

Soregashi is known to many...or at least to my circle of hardened fellow travelers and explorers. It showed up on my list of potential things to do in greater Meguro, and then when I realized it was on Woodrow's list from a few years ago, the deal was closed.

I met up with You, who was fresh in for the weekend from his current posting in Niigata. As with all the places I've found to take him over the years, this met with strenuous approval. As it should. Woodrow's review was essentially "This is about as good as Tsukushinoko", and that's not off, nor do I feel bad about telling you what that place is called, because it's now booked several months in advance and none of us are going. I do and don't like to think that I played a part in making it that popular. Certainly I was able to secure same-week reservations in the past...

Come to think of it, Soregashi was a challenge. I only called a few days out, and the manager was solicitous but very down on my prospects until I mentioned that I only had two people, whereupon we occupied the last two seats.

Come to think more of it, You was pretty proud of himself for having been to the chicken version of this place down the street last year. But he was forced to admit that this one is better.

This is what happened shortly after we sat down - a pleasant plate of mixed stuff. Potato soup, fuu with dengaku, kinkans, greens... It didn't taste as upside down as it looked.
Kind of a Kyoto-style piece now, with kiwi, persimmon, asparagus and greens underpinned by tofu sauce. You'll see this if you have kaiseki in Kyoto. You might not like it the first time.
You can like this every time though. Or not at all. Can you eat rare fish?  I have no memory of this fish.
I have some memory of this fridge. How many times did the staff delve into it to pour us another kataguchi of something or other? At least 10, I'd say, which is sweet considering we were on the Y1500/person pairing course. We had ordered the higher-level 'seasonal' food course too, but I don't think that influenced the saki selections or quantity.
Well, nothing says 'seasonal' like firefly squid. Amirite? But this was a first for me. A whole squadron of the little soldiers, and a big, tasty bath for them, and lots of vegetable-shaped pool toys.
Oooooooh, glisten-y.
Miso-cured grilled pork. Bamboo shoots with prickly ash leaves, a very seasonal thing.
This is seasonal too, it's some kinda sakura version from Hyaku Juro's mask series, previously seen here as well as in my home fridge. They poured us some Senkin at some point. It really seemed like you're not supposed to ask, so I gave up quickly, and they certainly kept coming with new pours.
We're already wrapping up here, despite seeming like we just got started. Tasty rice porridge. Do wooden spoons make things taste better? It feels very rustic, that's for sure. Like you're camping, not like you're approaching completion of a long meal.
Obviously it's time for dessert. Here's your dessert sake. Or milk. Whatever.
Tasty bites of tea and bean finish us off. That's good, it's less simple and humble than fruit.

There's enough simple and humble right between my ears. I don't need it on the plate too.

Did you notice the variety and quantity above? The quality is just fine too, mighty fine. And the price is more than reasonable for all this. Book in advance and go with friends; there are many more places that are more hospitable for solo diners.

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