Thursday, 18 February 2010

Another meal another Michelin starred restaurant

You must realise by now that we've been using the Michelin Red Guide to Tokyo to help us select where to eat. I've heard there are 15,000 restaurants in Tokyo so we've had to narrow down the choice somehow. So far so good. 2 restaurants and 2 hits. They've been fabulous thus far. Tonight we're hoping for 3 out of 3... if we can find it. Tokyo is a bugger to get around and the the whole address system and lack of English (well duh) street sign makes every trip an adventure. Our first night here, for example, it took us hours to find the restaurant after asking 4 locals, 2 taxi drivers and getting a ride in a taxi to an address in the opposite direction. Yesterday I think I figured the address system out. Each district, like Ginza, is broken up into slabs called chome. Each chome covers between 10 to 20 blocks called cho. So an address is written 2-10-2 Ginza. 2 is the chome, 10 is the cho (or block) and 2 is the building address. Where it gets even more confusing is the building numbers are not sequential. They're in order of age of the building so you have to walk around the block to find a particular building which may not have a number on it. What this all means is that we went looking for 4 restaurants yesterday (just seeing if we could find them) and using a map I was able to find them all quickly. We went to another district today, Shinjuku, far from Ginza and we were able find an address using the same system. It is like fucking magic. We're still getting disoriented coming out of subways and shit but we are far better off than when we first arrived.
But I digress. Last night's dinner was at a Kansai style restaurant called Sankame. Apparently it has been here since 1946. It is also a Michelin 1 star restaurant. Well I am happy to say we are on a winning streak. Another excellent recommendation from the Frogs (actually I think the French use local Japanese critics). We arrived at about 6 to try and make a reservation for after 7. As I said we were still full from lunch. Well it took almost to 7 to get across that we wanted to make reservation for later and come back. After dipping into the Lonely Planet Japanese phrasebook a few times and some enthusiastic hand signals from both sides we were able to get the message across. I think they said that we should get there before 8 because it will fill up. Or they wanted sell me a goat.
After a wander through a department store food hall (drool) or appetite was at a level that could handle another Japanese feast so we returned to be warmly welcome by the cheerful owner and his elderly, and lovely, waitresses in traditional kimonos. And what a feast. Pictures below.

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