Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tokyo: Hitsumabushi Bincho, Ginza Branch (ひつまぶし名古屋 備長 銀座店)

As I mentioned that meeting friends was one on priority list for this Tokyo trip, I arranged meeting with my classmate during my postgrad year in Ginza. It was Saturday's afternoon and the street on Ginza was closed so people can freely roaming around the street. It was pretty cool to see car empty street but as soon as the clock ticked 6 pm, the cars were back on street again.

We met up around 6 pm and R decided to take me to eat unagi at "somewhere" around Ginza. He said he hasn't been in Ginza for 2 years now so hopefully it's still there (He was working in Kosovo for 2 years and only got back to Tokyo for 6 months). With a little of hesitation, we finally found the place we were going to dine at - "Hitsumabushi Bincho" (ひつまぶし名古屋 備長 銀座店)

Hitsumabushi is actually Nagoya style of eating grilled eel. I quoted this from Time Out Tokyo website as it's good to describe what is hitsumabushi quite well:

"Hitsumabushi involves eating your unagi in stages: first as it is, then mixed with a selection of seasonings, and lastly in an ochazuke style, with a dashi broth poured over the top. It's a meal that bears the hallmarks of Japanese tradition – as much a ritual as as a refreshment – and, as far as we're concerned, it's all the better for it."

R was being kind and asked for English menu for me. When I said to him I didn't need it as I can read some basic kanji and Japanese, he was surprised and asked me to read things on menu to show him I was really okay. He asked if I can still speak Russian which I also asked him the same. Neither of us no longer speak the language we got degrees on - I guess it has been too long since we last met which so many things have happened between us!

before opening the pot

We ordered Jo-hitsumabushi (上ひつまぶ) which I think has more meat than just normal hitsumabushi. The unagi was grilled very crispy outside. The sauce tasted absolutely wonderful. It didn't have smell of soil like what you usually find in unagi in Thailand.

Unfortunately the lightening in the restaurant was quite poor and I didn't feel like using my flash to disturb people around. Only one picture from hitsumabushi came out - The one with dashi soup. I gotta be honest, it was my first time eating it like ochazuke. It was an experience but not my kind. I would prefer eating the unagi just the original way, as it is, the most.

It was such a delightful meal to catch up with old friend over nice decent food. R was also being so kind to treat me for my dinner which I told him to come visit me again soon so I can pay for his meal in Thailand. He said he will, let's see if he will actually come or not.

Hitsumabushi Bincho, Ginza Branch (ひつまぶし名古屋 備長 銀座店)
14th floor, Marronnier Gate
website: http://www.hitsumabushi.co.jp/tenpo_ginza.html


No comments:

Post a Comment