My family absolutely adores all Japanese food. At age five, my son’s all-time favourite meal is cold soba noodles with a side of sashimi. He could eat this just about any day, in rather startling quantities. I really enjoy soba too, but have recently begun an affair with udon. Even my son would shift his allegiance once in a while. All thanks to Tamoya Udon.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Tokyo/Japan, so I was super thrilled and honoured when my friend E invited me to his wedding to the gorgeous H, held last weekend. It took place in the beautiful gardens of Happo-en, and I happily jumped on a plane last weekend to spend a couple of days in the land of sushi, uni, and more uni.
Since are so many choices when dining in Tokyo, why do I keep coming back to something so simple like Yakitori? Yakitori is ostensibly the most basic of foods – meats and vegetables, grilled on a stick. Many cultures have something similar like Thai moo ping (grilled pork on a stick) or Turkish kofte (grilled lamb kebabs) but I would argue that the Japanese version of a meal on a stick is by far the best. The Japanese obsession with detail elevates even the simplest of dishes and yakitori is no exception. As such, whenever I am in Tokyo I am perpetually on the hunt for a new yakitori place to try.
I have to admit, it took me a while to appreciate uni. I blame that on the fact that most of my early experiences with sea urchin were with product that today I wouldn’t touch, i.e. stinky and pissy. I remember eating a particularly disgusting uni sushi asking myself, “why would anyone prize this? It’s disgusting.” Of course, these days, I know better.
While it’s easy to find great food in Tokyo’s Ginza, Akasaka belt, hunting down those gems pretty much unknown to foreigners is that much more fun. Kenzan is one such jewel. Nestled in the prime residential district of Shoto, Kenzan offers its unique blend of Japanese fine dining with a delightful twist.