Monday, December 25, 2017

季織亭 (Kioritei in Yoyogi-Uehara)



Where do I begin with this shop.


How about the location. You might have a little difficulty, as the shop is in a residential neighborhood. This shop is actually in the master's house. Luckily, Japanese zoning laws are not very strict, and something like this is ok.

How this happened is an interesting story.


This is 川名さん, Mr. Kawana. He opened Kioritei as a bento shop back in 1991. Bento shops serve up boxed lunches, and there are many of them around Tokyo to feed the salaryman who doesn't have time to go to a restaurant, or maybe doesn't want to spend the big bucks. I often visit a local bento shop that sells an entire lunch for 200 yen. Less than $2.

In 2000, the Kioritei bento shop started serving homemade ramen in the evening, as well as continuing the bento lunches. He further expanded in 2006 with a 2nd floor bar. Eventually it all ended in 2014.

I never tried any of these spots, unfortunately.

Lucky for me, in 2016 the fans convinced Kawana-san to reopen. He couldn't handle commuting to a shop everyday, so instead they took to a Japanese crowdfunding site to get the money to reform their own home into a shop. Over 90 people stepped up to hit the goal of $20,000, and in March of 2017, the new shop was ready to go.


The menu is always changing, and at dinner time it is an entire course. Appetizer, three kinds of ramen, an egg course, and dessert.


Shimane Prefecture soy sauce, handmade noodles, and eggplant for the first ramen course.


As there are not many people served each day, the master used a hand-crank pasta machine to make the noodles on the spot.


For an extra 1000 yen (the regular course is 3800 yen) you can have a meat dish. Japanese wagyu steak.


A ramen egg served on rice. This is a specialty egg from Ibaraki Prefecture. Every main ingredient is very carefully chosen at Kioritei.


A small bowl of shio ramen uses Okinawan natural salt.


The final ramen dish was a cold noodle served in a walnut sauce.


Reservations are a must.


Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Uehara 1-42-4
5 minute walk from Yoyogi-Hachiman Station

Open 11:30-14:00, 17:00-19:30, 20:00-22:00
Closed Thursdays