Dec 18, 2016
Old skool grilled salmon set and an old skool Japanese dining experience
The first time I went to this place for lunch the main 'grill man', a proper old skool lookin' Japanese dude, was giving hell to one of the waitstaff, or rather, the only wait staff. I don't know why, but it was happening for all to see in this small restaurant. Nobody batted an eyelid (save for this blogger).
This restaurant is very popular during lunch with workers from the surrounding office towers. It specializes in grilling things; mostly fish but they can also do some chicken. Just about. I went with the chicken lunch set once. The chicken, purposefully, was uncooked in the middle, or rather, it was only cooked on the outside. I was given a pair of industrial scissors to cut it up.
I've been back since, and usually go with one of the fish options (they grill it all they way through). This time I went with the salmon set. For 800 yen you get the fish, rice, miso soup, pickles and some very finely grated daikon. It's a really nice combo. The salmon in this case is served with a slice of lemon. It's incredibly soft and really easy to handle with chop sticks. It's quite greasy through, which may be off putting for some. The pickles are not so strong, rather they have a soft kind of taste that's a nice compliment to the sharpness of the lemon. The only thing I'm unsure about is the grated radish. I mean, it's fine an all, I'm just not sure a which stage and accompanied with which bit of food I'm supposed to be eating it.
The door is always open at this restaurant, literally, I mean. Even in winter like now, so it's not really a place you can get settled in. Added to this, tables are shared with with other diners, so there's a lot of coming and going and little privacy to talk about those deals you've been trying to make at work (everyone in here is an office worker). There's no menu to speak off, just an illegible list of dishes (it's written in kanji) by the cash register at the door. You somehow indicated what you want and given a old wooden 'token' with a number on it. You find your own seat.
I think the vibe of the 'grill man' seeps into every corner of this place. This is no-frills Japanese dining. There are few pleasantries, few choices, and little time for messing about. Get in, sit down, eat, and get out. Perfect for the busy Japanese office worker, I guess.