March 8, 2013
東方見聞録, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
居酒屋の定番!! 大盛り枝付き枝豆 (Izakaya-Standard Large Green Soybeans)
茄子の浅漬け (Pickled Eggplant (Tsukemono))
浪速のたこ焼き (Takoyaki (Grilled Octopus Balls))
季節の浅漬け (Seasonal Pickles)
葱めんたいのせ出し巻き玉子 (Japanese Omelette topped Green Onion and Marinated Pollack Roe)
明太カルボうどん (Salted Cod Roe with Carbonara Udon)
選べる胡瓜 (生姜醤) (Cucumber (Ginger Miso Sauce))
揚げピザ＆カマンベールディップ (Fried Won-Ton with Camembert Cheese)
Casey and I were not feeling up to some hardcore partying so we decided to venture out and try our own izakaya at 東方見聞録 near the Shinjuku station. We had seen so many ‘270 yen’ restaurants in the past week. I loved the idea! It was just like having a large variety of a tasting menu. Each item was only 270 yen, with special items – actually quite a few of them – priced slightly higher. It was certainly an interesting experience and I would have loved to try a few more of these if we had more time!
To start, we were served 居酒屋の定番!! 大盛り枝付き枝豆 (Izakaya-Standard Large Green Soybeans). These were boiled perfectly and had the perfect amount of saltiness. The edamame were easy to get out of the pod and soft but not too mushy. Once you start eating these, it is really hard to stop until other plates of food are presented before you.
From there, we proceeded to 茄子の浅漬け (Pickled Eggplant (Tsukemono)). I love eggplant and this was decent, but it was not my favourite preparation. The small eggplant was very tender, not too dry, and had a good, firm and chewy texture. However, I found the flavour a bit disappointing. It was salty and a little sour from the pickling whereas I had expected something a little sweeter.
The 浪速のたこ焼き (Takoyaki (Grilled Octopus Balls)) were excellent, though. They had crispy exteriors and a piping hot, slightly gooey center. There were not too much octopus inside but the flavour was bang on with the sauces and bonito flakes.
The 季節の浅漬け (Seasonal Pickles) were very refreshing with its mix of cucumbers, daikon, and ___. These were a little sour but not as salty as the eggplant, which made it nicer in my opinion. I would suggest them for a nice palate cleanser.
The 葱めんたいのせ出し巻き玉子 (Japanese Omelette topped Green Onion and Marinated Pollack Roe) was one of my favourites for the night. The egg omelette was firm but soft and airy. The texture was just excellent, as was the flavour. It was quite sweet, which was perfect for me. Put that together with the salty Pollack roe on top and the sweet and savoury sauce, it was just delicious.
The 明太カルボうどん (Salted Cod Roe with Carbonara Udon) was also a very nice dish, and one of the only ones that was more like an entrée. The udon noodles were cooked nicely to al dente, and coated in plenty of the creamy carbonara sauce. What I loved was the spicy roe in the carbonara, giving the creaminess a little kick.
Wanting more vegetables, we went with the 選べる胡瓜 (生姜醤) (Cucumber (Ginger Miso Sauce)). The cucumbers were certainly refreshing, especially with the ginger miso sauce. It was coarsely pureed ginger flavoured with miso, a little bit too salty but had a nice gingery kick.
Finally, the 揚げピザ＆カマンベールディップ (Fried Won-Ton with Camembert Cheese) was another very interesting dish. The fried wontons were crisp and lovely and I thought the camembert cheese dip was a very creative twist. Perhaps not my favourite dish but it was certainly an interesting one. Wontons and cheese, who knew?
The meal was not exactly a filling one, since it was more like small bites of various items. It was a great experience though. My only complaint was that smoking was allowed inside and we almost ended up beside some heavy smokers. The food, though, was exquisite – a splendid final dinner in Tokyo!