Epiphany, can that be aplied in culinary terms?
Well if it can I had one tonight,
Through a tip from a friend , and finding it local to my hotel in tsukiji ,
I ventured to monzen-nakacho.
(魚三 Uosan the kind of place I love and the locals too! so much so that often there are queues outside even before it’s 4pm opening.
Fish is what it’s all about fiercly fresh in large portions, raw, grilled, fried, salted, vinigared and in ways I had not considered.
Beer bottled or draught sake hot or cold or with salt sipped from a wooden box.
The downstairs area is the haunt of the regulars it is set out with
Two u shaped tables where I sat elbow to elbow with my neigbour the resulting space within the u is where the waiters serve you unhindered by the tightly packed customers.
The waiter on my side had the look of a the jazz beat generation fan repleate with orchestated beard and black rimmed specticales ! Not much English spoken here so coming with some phrases and names of fish is a godsend.
Being the only foreiner works in your favour as some lattitude is given for not knowing what to order the secret is just to point of queitly indicate to the waiter that you would like what he-she is having over there.
The sashimi was huge chu toro glisting pink and at the height of freshness almost a stuggle to eat it all as I had ordered Aji too which was a whole fish expertly filleted and served with grated Ginger .
t was at this moment I wandered onto sake first chilled and quite acceptabe then onto hot which was well too hot like slipping into a japanese bath for the first time the shock is almost too much for the system along with the shock of the taste reminded me of swollowing the water from an over chlorinated swimming pool ugh! if you want great sake here expect to be disappointed,but this is not what this place is about.
Onto sake this time served in the wooden box sprinkle a small pile of salt on the edge tequila style and sip away it worked for me and no doubt for the generations of customers before me.
There is two more floors above and this is where you will be sent once downstairs is full, not quite the same ambience hence the scramble for seats downstairs i visited twice and managed to secure a place on both occasions but groups of more than one will no doubt have to wait. This restaurant is spirited atmospheric,historic and on a visit to tokyo it is a must.
Monzen-nakacho Sta. on Tozai-line
(0.1 km, 0.1 miles)
Monzen-nakacho Sta. on Oedo-line
(0.3 km, 0.2 miles)
Kiba Sta. on Tozai-line
(0.9 km, 0.5 miles)