|Winter 2004 - Yakitori - Tempura - Traditional Tokyo Cuisine - Master Chef Cuisine
Traditional Tokyo Cuisine
Experience the refinement and hospitality of old Tokyo
|Soba (buckwheat) noodles don't come much better than at this long-established restaurant in Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood. Established in 1913, it's operated by third-generation proprietor Hiroshi Hotta. "If we hand-knead a day's supply of noodles in the morning, they become stale by day's end," Hotta explains. "We knead the noodles three times a day, totaling 400 servings." The cold noodles are considered the best in Tokyo. Sake is Kikumasamune in the barrel only. Both cask and sake were made for Namiki Yabusoba in Nada, one of the most famous sake-producing districts in Japan. English menus provided.
2-11-9 Kaminari-mon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Open 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM
A la carte only
Established in 1871, Echikatsu is a long-established sukiyaki restaurant visited by such distinguished authors as Natsume Soseki and Mori Ogai. Currently run by the sixth-generation master, the restaurant was a forerunner in using beef. Guests enter a traditional world of Japanese gardens and traditional architecture. Bamboo lines a pond. Lush gardens, with their soothing sound of water, provide a healing effect for the spirit. The taste of famous Matsuzaka beef is enhanced when eating here. The special broth used for boiling the meat and vegetables typifies the salty-sweet Kanto (eastern Japan) style, flavored with soy and sugar. A waitress cooks the beef piece by piece on a table equipped with a portable cooking stove. Customers dine in 17 separate rooms.
2-31-23 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Open 5 to 9:30 PM
Closed Sundays, holidays
Sukiyaki from 7,000 yen; shabu-shabu from 9,000 yen
|Oden is a typical winter dish in Japan. Vegetables and seafood products are simmered in a pot to create warming nourishment. Konakara serves such oden in a wooden structure that is a reproduction of a Japanese country house common in the good old days. After 40 years of pursuing the ultimate dashi (soup stock), chef Toshio Nakata found his perfect specialty in oden. His dashi is based on the donko shiitake mushroom of Kyushu. It is light in salt but its subtle, charming taste compensates for the lightness. Look into the gourd-shaped pot and have pieces of your choice served on individual plates.
1-9-6 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Open 6 PM to 10 PM
Assorted oden: 1,500 yen (five pieces)
2-5-11 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Open 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, 5 to 7:30 PM
Closed Sundays, 2nd Saturdays, holidays
No fixed courses; unaju (broiled eel on rice) from 3,200 yen; kabayaki (broiled eel alone) 3,500 yen.
1-51-14 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Open 5 to 7 PM
Closed Sundays, holidays
Meals 15,000 yen; no a la carte items