Some Random Unagi Joint in Ningyocho
This was a bit of an unplanned visit. We were originally intending to hit up a great butcher cum teppanyaki (and shabu shabu) place in the Ningyocho area when we arrived 7 minutes after the last order. We thus embarked on a quick trek into the other alleys to see what else was around. The area was filled with yakitori, yakiniku, and ramen joints, but then we found this little hole in the wall that also seemed to boast about its unagi. So we popped on in, and found it filled with local red-faced salarymen yapping away. We knew this had to be good.
We started off with some basic yakitori skewers and beer, which is always a magical combination (no, we didn't intend to get yakitori twice in one day, but this place basically turned out to be an izakaya specializing in unagi and yakitori, so we figured that we'd grab their namesake items). As usual, the yakitori went down very quickly. The unagju was an even bigger delight, with flesh so tender and tasty that it practically melted in one's mouth. It was interesting to see that the price on the menu for this dish was written in with an erasable marker, presumably to account for the fluctations in unagi supplies and prices. Today's prices were a reasonable 1,300 Yen, or US$10.80. We kept the meal somewhat healthy too with a basic yasai sarada, or a basic green salad but in Japanese form, with its shredded lettuce, little Japanese cucumbers, hints of shiso leaf, and the choice of sesame or ponzu-like dressing.
It's random experiences like this that easily make Tokyo my top spot in the entire world to get food. No matter how many times I've blindly walked into a random restaurant off the streets of Tokyo (the sheer number of restaurants on any street corner here is also astounding), I have yet to have a bad meal (although I suppose that I wouldn't appreciate that nasty Mos Burger stuff up here). Even the pre-packaged onigiri and such at 7-Elevens around here are delightfully fresh and tasty (no doubt assisted tremendously by the cool wrapper that keeps the seaweed dry yet assembles it in one easy pull; I'm still dumbfounded why places like that Edo Sushi takeout chain in Singapore don't use the darned wrapper properly). Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now, but this city simply amazes me for its sheer heavenly approach to food.