Mogu Mogu Nippon | Indulging in Oniku no Osushi’s Matsusaka Beef Don in Asakusa

27.June.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Asakusa is located in Tokyo and is home to many famous tourist and sightseeing spots such as Sensō-ji Temple and the Kaminarimon Gate. It’s also a place lined with restaurants serving up an array of gourmet dishes.

 

We have covered many popular cafés and local specialties in Asakusa in MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. Today, we will take a look at a sushi restaurant called Oniku no Osushi which opened recently where customers can eat sushi served with Japanese wagyu beef. It is the first big name restaurant from the Gion district of Kyoto to arrive in the country’s Kanto region. Since opening its doors, it has been much-talked-about and has enjoyed the hustle and bustle of hungry customers.

The restaurant is about an 8-minute walk from Akasaka Station via the subway and just a 2-minute walk via Tsukuba Express. You’ll know the restaurant when you see it as the outside of it incorporates a wooden design. Inside, too, wooden planks and pillars decorate the interior.

 

Matsusaka beef is a brand of beef in Japan made from the meat of Japanese Black cattle that are reared under strict conditions in Matsusaka, Mie. At Oniku no Osushi, customers are able to eat this beef in the form of sushi marbled and with a rare texture.

I dined together with Chinese model and talent Etsuna. She loves eating out but this was her first time eating rare meat on sushi. We ordered the restaurant’s popular Oniku no Osushi platter and the Gyusen Don (served only at lunchtime).

Oniku no Osushi Platter (8 Pieces): ¥5,000

The meat sushi platter comes with eight pieces including two pieces each of lean beef, salted beef, roast beef, and fatty gunkan beef. Excluding the gunkan beef it’s recommended eating each piece from the left as pictured above. Everything is already flavoured so you can eat them as they are.

 

The gunkan beef is best enjoyed while it is still frozen so I started with that. The cold beef just melts as it enters you mouth. It tastes sweet and has a fatty texture to it. The egg yolk mixes together with the beef on your tongue and gives it an even smoother taste.

 

The meat of the lean beef, salted beef and roast beef sushi is soft and each is layered with refreshing grated lemon and daikon. When you bite into the succulent meat your taste buds are treated to the sweetness of the fat and the meats’ rich flavours. I was able to taste the distinct qualities of each type.

Gyusen Don (w/ Cold Miso Soup): ¥2,480

The Gyusen Don is served at lunchtime only. It contains Matsusaka Gyusen® flakes and Kyoto-style tsukemono pickled vegetables, condiments and bite-sized meat pieces. The presentation of the dish is beautiful! You add soy sauce to it and mix with the egg yolk, and it’s simple irresistible! We made sure to snap a final photo before tucking in.

The beef of this dish melts in your mouth just like the gunkan beef and blends well with the egg yolk to create a velvety flavour. The dish also has condiments and pickled vegetables too adding to the variety of tastes. If you add wasabi or ginger the flavours are elevated even further, especially when eaten with the Kyoto-style pickled vegetables which creates a spicy tang.

 

The miso soup that the dish is served with is also Kyoto-style. Wheat starch and pickled vegetables are added to the sweet white broth to create a mellow flavour that goes well with the dish.

Etsuna gave high praise to the dish too: “It was so delicious. I think there are still a lot of foreigners that don’t know about meat sushi yet, so I think it’ll get popular soon. It’s a bit pricey there are a lot of foreign travelers who want to eat tasty Japanese food, so I recommend it to them.”

 

Asakusa is famous for its takeaway food to be eaten while walking, but Oniku no Sushi serves up an Asakusa-exclusive gourmet experience too.

Steamed Rice & Meat: ¥500

If you’re walking around Asakusa and are feeling peckish, then you should go for steamed rice and meat (おにくの飯蒸し). It’s packed full of beefy flavour.

What did you think of this little Asakusa lunch trip? Of course, Oniku no Osushi has an evening slot for dinner too, so if you’d like to try some Matsusaka beef then be sure to pay a visit.

 

Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Department)

Model: 悦奈(Etsuna)

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  • TV Anime ‘Sarazanmai’ to be Set in Asakusa, New Story Details Revealed

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    Sarazanmai is an upcoming TV anime series set to begin airing in April 2019. The series director Kunihiko Ikuhara appeared alongside Junichi Suwabe who voices Keppi at Animate Girls Festival 2018 which was held on November 10 and 11 where he unveiled details surrounding the story and setting.

    Kunihiko Ikuhara has wanted to create stories since he was a child. Today, he is a creative artist and anime director who has directed hit anime series such as Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997) and Mawaru Penguindrum (2011).

     

    During his talk, Ikuhara spoke about how he wanted to create a story on the legend of the kappa, a yokai of Japanese folklore that has webbed hands and feet and a shell on its back similar to a turtle. As he explained this, he also dropped that the story will be set in Asakusa, Tokyo. “[Asakusa is] next to the Sumida River. I wanted these young boys’ story to be in a place where one can feel life,” he commented.

    The theme of the story is “connecting.” We live in a world where we can connect to anyone at any time with a mobile phone, but there’s a lack of actually wanting to connect. “If we carry on connecting in this way, where would we end up? If we lose sight of connecting [with others], would it really become like that? Is connecting a necessity or not? These are things I wanted to explore,” explained the director.

     

    A radio show titled Purezanmai based on the anime series was also announced to begun airing in January 2019.

     

    Two important characters in the series, the police duo Reo Niiboshi voiced by Mamoru Miyano and Mabu Akutsu voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya, also have their own Twitter account which they will be posting on frequently until March 31, 2019.

    Comment: Junichi Suwabe (Voices “Keppi”)

    “This anime is an original series so there’s a lot I can’t talk about, but what I can say is that since it begins in April 2019 it will straddle the new era*. The old era will go and a new one will come. Even though it will be very new for the new era, I think it will be a wonderful and nostalgic series. I hope people look forward to it.”

    *Translator’s Note: He is talking about the end of the Japanese Heisei Period which is set to end while the anime is airing.

    Comment: Kunihiko Ikuhara (Director)

    “Even now the staff are working diligently on the series. I hope to connect with everyone during this time where it’s hard to know what it means to connect and where we would end up if we did. Please look forward to Sarazanmai!”

     

  • Matcha Café Yanagi Chaya to Open Near Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

    24.June.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

    Shin Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa runs perpendicular to Nakamise Shopping Street, and it’s there that the new Japanese tea café Yanagi Chaya will open on July 6, 2018.

     

    Asakusa is one of Japan’s most famous tourist destinations and is packed with tourists from both inside and outside of Japan every single day. Yanagi Chaya will open nearby Sensoji Temple which is a significant sightseeing spot for tourists, hailing as the oldest temple in Tokyo. The café’s ideal location means that those strolling around Asakusa can pop in for drinks and desserts.

     

    The shop is positioned so it takes in a lot of light, so it’s nice and bright. It’s also spacious, giving it a welcoming vibe. Its simple wooden décor lets one feel at one with the warmth of nature while also being surrounded by that Japanese omotenashi, or ‘hospitable’ atmosphere.

    Uji Matcha Tiramisu – ¥600

    Uji Matcha Rice Flour Dumplings – ¥790

     

    The menu is packed full of matcha items. You could tuck into a boxed Uji matcha tiramisu which MACCHA HOUSE, another shop, is famous for and was even featured on news media. Or you could chew on some Uji matcha rice flour dumplings which are all individually handmade instore and made white syrup and a matcha paste created on site that mixes together strained bean paste and matcha. There’s plenty more on the menu too where that came from.

    Both the tiramisu and dumplings are something you’ll want a photo of. There’s also an original takeout matcha drink you can sip on which is made from a matcha called Tomo no Mori by Mori no Han who’ve been around since 1836. It’s served in Yanagi Chaya’s own bottles so you can take it around Asakusa with you as you explore the sites.

     

    Yanagi Chaya should be put on your list of places to visit in Asakusa. Enjoy yourself some delicious matcha sweets.

     

    ■Information

    Yanagi Chaya

    Address: Hashimoto Bldg. 1F, 1-30-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening: July 6, 2018

    Opening Hours: 10am-6pm (Last Orders 5pm)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 03-5830-8317

    FAX: 03-5830-8318

    *All prices listed are pre-tax.

     

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    inside the cafe

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    French toast

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    Inside Nikukappou Futago

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    Menu in Japanese *Menu will change monthly

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    Middle Contender: WANG Wei Ping, 1st Place Winner

    WANG Wei Ping’s Dish

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    When reacting to his victory, Wang Wei Ping said: “I thank the owner and other members of my restaurant. After returning to Shanghai, I would like to continue conveying the excellence of Japanese cuisine, which is both healthy and tasty.”

     

    Finalists

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    First Place: WANG Wei Ping (China, SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY)

     

    USA

    Second Place: Yael PEET (USA, Fury’s) *The restaurant will be open this summer.

     

    Singapore

    Third Place: Loh Man HONG (Singapore, FAT COW)

     

    Paris

    Wojciech POPOW (Poland, Beaverbrook)

     

    Judges

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    (Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy, Owner and chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)

    – Deputy Head Judge: Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

    (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc. President of Kyoto Culinary Art College)
    – Judge: Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

    (Owner of Japanese Cuisine KASHIWAYA, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)
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    Plain Tiramisu – ¥600

    Kogashi Houjicha Puree – ¥650

    Strawberry Daifuku – ¥730

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    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    Hinamatsuri is almost here, and I’ve got the perfect treat for this year’s festival: Hello Kitty Sushi Cakes. These Hello Kitty decorations can be made with basic Japanese ingredients, so follow along and try making them yourself.

     

    1: Equipment/Ingredients

    15cm cake tin

     

    1 cup vinegared sushi rice

    200g tuna

    200g salmon

    3 Japanese rolled omelettes (dashi-maki tamago)

    20 beefsteak plant

    Ikura salted salmon roe

    Hanpen pounded fish cake

     

    2:

    Line a cake tin with baking sheet paper like in the photo. Use a cake tin with a detachable bottom spanning 15cm. In the case that you don’t have a cake tin with a detachable bottom, cover the bottom of your tin with cling film which will make it easy to remove everything afterwards.

     

    3:

    Cut Hello Kitty, flowers and other shapes into some hanpen pounded fish cake.

     

    4:


    Slice the tuna, salmon, and Japanese egg into cubes about 1.2cm each.

    Pile the ingredients in this order: rice→tuna, salmon, and egg→rice. Refer to the photo below.

     

    5:

    Leave the ingredients exposed around the outside like so

     

    6:

    Top with the rest of the ingredients as you like.

     

    7:

     

    Finish by adding your Hello Kitties and flowers which you can decorate with leftovers, like the noses and middle of the flowers. I also used cucumber and crab sticks for the head decorations.

     

    Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!

     

    Kaori Kubota (@kaopan27)
    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→@kaopan27

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    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

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