Friday, April 6, 2007

37. Restaurant Review: Imari

This restaurant has been closed.

Just outside and up the hill from the North exit is a tiny little place called Imari. On the door, in English, it says 'soup in summer', 'stew in winter. It was a cold, windy day; stew would be just the thing.

Stepping inside was like entering a time warp. The building is old and the classical music makes it feel even older. The white walls are 'grayed' with age, and mini chandeliers and beaded glass lights hang from the ceiling. The back wall is an unusual black antique folding screen covered in trees and deer.

There are two large tables that hold 6 people each, plus four tables for 4. A staircase in the back leads to the kitchen upstairs. A lovely young woman takes orders and notifies the kitchen by intercom. Food 'magically' appears from behind the cash register.

The menu, in winter, is stew. There were two lunch sets: beef stew (1750 yen) or chicken vegetable stew (1450 yen). They are served with salad and a choice of rice or bread.

Customers can also order from the regular menu, which is divided into two stew catagories - brown sauce (beef, oxtail, tongue, mix of the three - all about 2000 yen) and white sauce (vegetable, chicken, or fish - all about 1750 yen). Add rice or bread for 210 yen. I don't know if a salad is included or not.
I went with the beef stew lunch set. I also had a glass of red wine (420 yen). The beef stew was very tasty, but I felt that the portion size was a little small for the price (compared with beef stew I've eaten around Japan - in places that also specialize in it).

Also, I had the rice, but the people next to me ordered bread. It was warm, crusty French bread - great for dipping. If I return someday, I'll try it with the chicken stew. I did really like the atmosphere.

I don't know what types of soup they serve in the summer.