Toraya 登良屋

It was one hot humid afternoon. A typical Japanese summer. Cicada singing loud as ever. I didn’t want to move. Let me stay home and do nothing. That kind of day it was.

I was net surfing and found a book. I wanted to buy it so clicked it in Amazon and was going to check out. Wait, it takes a week for it to arrive? I checked the bookstore around my area (Yokohama-Tokyo) and the closest was in Kannai, central Yokohama so decided to get up and go to the bookstore!

I took 2 different train and took me 40 min to the bookstore. (Other choices was and hour or more ride so this wasn’t that bad.) Got the book, browse though the books, shuffle one oracle card deck for fun.

I should get something to eat. It was pass 2pm. Maybe a bowl of cheep udon and head home. Turn around toward the udon stall and an old tempura place popped into my eye.

The Noren ( a cloth hanging out the door to indicate whether the store is close or open) is still hanging out the door, therefore it’s still open, it’s way pass noon so it shouldn’t be that crowed (plus) the covid situation really hit bad to the food business… I’ve been here at night but never lunch, I do not know the system but why not? Just give it a try. The owner of these kind of old establishment are sort of rigid and newbie are usually unwelcome LOL.

I slowly opened the door and HA! there was absolutely no one in the restaurant. 2 rigid looking man behind the counter and several waitresses welcoming myself in. She glanced at the man in the counter (and he nodded, therefore I’m allowed in), showed me the menu with no price written on it, the choice was either tempura or sashimi. (You can choose the ingredient from the menu) I asked the waitress that I wanted a simple lunch. How should I order. She told me to order whatever you want in the menu and during lunchtime it will be served with a bowl of rice, miso soup and pickles. Without any hesitation, I ordered a plate of Katsuo (bonito) sashimi.

I know this place specialized in tempura. BUT I also know they serve extra-extra good sashimi. I love eating summer bonito sashimi. I don’t usually buy fresh bonito at my local fish monger. Reason? they are not fresh enough to please my appetite. So when I saw bonito on the menu? without any hesitation, I’ll go for it.

After a couple of minutes, here comes the bonito. Beautifully sliced and stacked up like a volcano. I mean how beautiful can this be? The fish is fresh and shiny, the slice is big and thick. In front of the bonito is a stacks of sliced myoga (Japanese ginger flower).

Pour the soy sauce in a small plate with the condiments (scallion & ginger), grab a slice of bonito and dip in it and bon appetite ! Nibble on some myoga, some rice, miso soup, pickles and repeat.

The waitress brought some Nori (Japanese seaweed) and told me to wrap the Tsuma (thinly slice daikon hidden under the sashimi) and eat it because the daikon are hand sliced and it taste different from the machine sliced ones. You can see the difference of the hand & machine sliced by eye, the color, the texture are completely different and Of course the hand sliced one taste better.

Summer in Japan isn’t that bad after all if you can encounter these summer delicacy. My hubby totally missed on this trip and couldn’t believe I didn’t order a cup of cold sake. Next time, I told him. We’ll be back soon for sure.

登良屋 Toraya (since 1958)


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