A Home in the City: Roppongi Ichioku 1968


When I first heard of Roppongi Ichioku, I figured I’d give it a try… someday. Well, finally, that day came.

Before a recording session I had scheduled in Roppongi, we decided to drop by Ichioku for a quick lunch, followed by a Starbucks refresher. Following Google maps through the backstreets near Midtown, we came upon a little house-like shop that couldn’t be anything but Ichioku. I worried briefly that 12:30 on a Tuesday would be key munching time for businessmen, but we luckily found in seat at the peak of lunch hour.

Darkly lit and filled with bottle

s and strange decorations (masks and an old radio/TV in the bathroom?), Ichioku felt like a quirky relative’s home. I ordered the mysterious “genmai lunch”; mysterious in that the photo was small and the items unlabeled. Bring on the surprise! My boyfriend ordered the less unpredictable maguro rice bowl, which was layered with cooked strips of maguro grilled in a semi-spicy, gingery sauce. Yum. Our meals came rather instantly, mine with miso and delicious brown rice on the side. The platter items? Stewed pumpkin, rolled egg, a crab/noodle salad, regular salad, stewed fish, pickled vegetables (in addition to the ones we both received after , and a “salad” mix of tiny white fish and grated radish. Overall, not bad, though I could’ve done without the tiny for lunch. I left feeling satisfied but not stuffed, which is the best feeling after dining out.

Although we couldn’t order the famous tofu steak, I was still happy with the experience in general.

I have the feeling that an evening visit would have an entirely different atmosphere. Whenever you go, it’s bound to be a pleasant time.



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