Today, we had plans to meet up with our friend, Nihei, for a yakitori lunch but, unfortunately, a last minute meeting derailed those yakitori plans – and sent us to Butagumi, my favorite tonkatsu restaurant, instead!
Tucked away in a little side street in Nishi-Azabu, the rustic restaurant offers varieties of tonkatusu (golden-fried pork cutlets) from all over Japan.
We started with a double order of the San Mi Ni Pork – sweet, salty, umami and crispy, it goes great with rice. I’ve been trying to replicate the recipe at home for years now – to no avail. 🙁
We ordered three types of pork. Surprisingly, the tastiest was this Nattoku-Toni pork from GIFU prefecture. I say surprising because it was the leanest cut of our three choices – yet proved equally tender and more flavorful.
The two month aged Himuro-Buta from Gunma (pictured above) and Kashiwa-Gensou Pork from Chiba were also great, all nestled in an exceptionally light panko crusting.
Butagumi: 2-24-9 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo
Passed this interesting sign outside a restaurant. Not sure what it means. Cool down with tempura on hot days?
These cool state-of-the-art public urinals come with manual water flushing systems and soap dispensers! Took me a while to figure them out.
Oh. No. Wait.
In preparation for the cold east coast winter, we also got our dogs some down-filled coats as well.
Then stopped by the baby section of Uniqlo and, for half the price, picked up Jelly a whole new winter wardrobe.
Interesting metro print ad featuring Kyari Pamyu Pamyu.
Mecha-gorilla outside a shop in Daikanyama.
Akemi and her new friend.
I’ll do the cutest thing on the menu, please.
For dinner tonight, I got a recommendation from a foodie forum and made a reservation at Sushiso Masa. I was expecting a modest, lovely little meal. Instead, we were treated to a mind-blowing feast featuring some 40+ different pieces of fish served in an unbelievable variety of ways. Chef Masa kindly took the time to explain (to us, but really to Akemi who translated for me) the various fish, preparations, and his inspired approaches and philosophy. We had three different sea urchins prepared three different ways, sashimis, nigiris, cookied specialties, arrangements and presentations I’ve never had before.
Some of the visual highlights…
Spectacular. This place has earned its spot into regular rotation alongside Sawada, Esquisse, and L’Effervescence.
Sushiso Masa: 4-1-15 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tonight, I leave you with another video my sister sent me – this one of a snorky Lulu and her toy: