Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hidden Tokyo: Eating

Like other people collect shoes, figurines or books, I collect restaurants. You have to admit, it is a space-friendly hobby, for a country where meterage is always in contention. A couple lines in a book, or online, and it is yours (until it closes, at least).

A couple of my latest acquisitions are a bit eccentric. A brief walk from Shirokanedai takes you to David's Deli, the oldest Jewish restaurant in Tokyo. The interior has not changed in decades, and the stairwell is graced by copies of Chagall's biblically inspired stained glass (as are some of the plates).

My quest this time was varnishkes, a dish of pasta and fried buckwheat. We also added falafel and hummus for good measure, with cups of nana tea. Lovely. There is also a tahini cake available, but that will have to be for a different time

Completely across town, in a tiny corner of Okusawa, is Onibus Coffee. A friend of Wave-chan's owns it, and is dead serious about coffee. He also did all the wood decor, and the staff are all super sweet, not to mention make a killer cappucino! But beware, don't come here looking for food, as the menu only extends to carefully chosen biscotti.
I am afraid the quick picture doesn't do it justice, but tucked away by the stream in Ebisu is a wonderful udon place called Yamacho. Not only is the decor totally wa-chic, but the menu is also quite interesting, and you can choose the thickness of your udon. I went for the soy milk broth udon, with tuba and umeboshi. You should also order a plate of their dashimaki tamago, which is outstanding.

Finally, a brief ode to ochazuke, in the unlikely locations of Akihabara (or Narita's departure hall). I adore this simple, comforting food, and Dashichazuke En is a simple, cheap option. This is a chain, but the quality level is very high, and I am a big fan of the pickled vegetable set.

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