June 10, 2013

Casual soba shop in Yushima by a famous soba master

Among noodle shops in Japan, if a soba chef masters its professional and creates own soba, different from others, he/she is recognized as a "soba master" and respected by people. Soba, Japanese buckwheat noodle is simple. For this reason, making soba is difficult and deep. It's like a concept of "zen." One of a famous soba master is Mr. Ishi Jin (石井仁), who has won Michelin stars. His main soba-kaiseki restaurant named "Nigyo (仁行)"is located in Nihonbashi (日本橋). But if you want to taste his soba in a casual manner, there is a hidden place in Yushima (湯島).
Entrance "Kosetsu"
Tempura soba set
Soba with hot soup and fresh green laver  
Soba boiled hot water
On the underground floor of hotel "Edoya (江戸屋)", a reasonable Japanese-style hotel particularly for overseas travelers, there is a soba shop named "Kosetsu (古拙)." The hotel itself is a bit old, but the interior of Kosetsu was well renovated. Stable and good atmosphere. Even one customer could be relaxed in this shop.

Menu is vary. We ordered a tempura soba set and a soba with hot soup and fresh green laver, one of their specialties. We waited a bit until soba was served,  but it was worth for waiting. Tempura was just fried, hot and crispy. The famous soba was very thin and delicate. Unless we eat quickly, it will be stuck. The sophisticated soba was definitely nice, though I  personally prefer a bit more dry soba dipping soup. 

The other hot soba was more wonderful. The balance of soup and soba was perfect. I got to be addictive. If you are not used to laver, the appearance might not be favorable, but the taste is really nice. If I revisit, I will order this again. The price is 10-20% higher than usual soba shops maybe because of the fame. The portion is also small. If you go often, it might be uneconomical, but tasting nice soba occasionally, it would be OK. My rating is 3.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Kosetsu (古拙) http://r.gnavi.co.jp/6742296/ 

June 3, 2013

Local Italian Diner in Yanaka

Just nest to Sushi Yaguruma (previous visit) in Yanaka (谷中), there is a small Italian diner named "PANELLA (パネイラ)." PANELLA is a casual diner where even one person can easily enter. Their specialty is grilled vegetables tasting with rock salt, olive oil and basil-tomato paste. By baking by oven, vegetables become more sweet and juicy. It seemed every customer ordered this grilled vegetables because of the nice taste and heath conscious.
Handmade bread
Grilled vegetables
Spaghetti with tomato sauce
Grilled pork
The hand-made taste including bread was simple and gentle. Spaghetti with tomato sauce was simple but tasty. Main dish, grilled pork was a bit less appealing, but the simple tasting did not harm the taste of ingredient itself. Each dish costs around JPY1,000. When you want to have Italian dishes but don't want to cook at home, this casual diner might be one option. You can come with casual cloths. My rating is 2.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

PANELLA (パネイラ) http://www.panella-yanaka.net/