I first discovered the shop during one of my frequent walks from Okachimachi to Asakusa.
The two storey building looked impressively traditional and the sign 駒形どぜう hung high in a banner next to a more modern neighbor.
Photo taken from Trip Advisor
When I met my Oji-san friend a couple of days later, I asked him about the restaurant and what exactly is a どぜう . I have eaten several different kinds of Japanese cuisine both in Japan and abroad,watched several Japanese food shows but do not recalled a どぜう dish before.
His explanation basically was summarized to be “its a traditional dish, only old people want to eat it.” He even frowned while saying it, probably hoping to dissuade me from going to eat it.
Hearing that, of course, made me want to try it even more.
He made reservations (apparently that restaurant is pretty well known and requires reservations) for lunch. We arrived around 10.45a.m for our 11 a.m reservation (only slot left) and already a crowd of elderly and middle aged people were gathered at the front of the store.
Seriously, I was the youngest member there.
My Oji-san friend was very excited, when he made the reservation, he was informed that the restaurant was serving the first batch of 新米 (shinmai) or newly harvested rice.
He was probably more excited about the Shinmai then the dish itself
The Japanese are crazy about Shinmai, they go into ecstasy thinking of eating Shinmai.
Finally, we were ushered in. The other patrons chattered cheerfully and the sparse restaurant quickly filled with people who took up the cushions on the tatami mats and started on the entrees that were already placed on the long wooden plank on the mat acting as the table.
The second floor had about the same arrangement except they had low lying tables.
I really like this kind of traditional decor, there seems to be an atmosphere of communal dinning when seated like this.
The mysterious dish arrives!
Dozeu-nabe is essentially loach fish cooked in a shallow metal plate on a small flame with sake.
Taken from Foodjapan.net
Then LOADS of negi is placed on top of the fish and slowly simmered.
This is a dish that is said to date back to the Edo period and the restaurant which I had stumbled upon is a very famous one which history goes back to 1801.
One thing I noticed about this restaurant is the lack of tourists.
Personally I loved the dish, but it’s definitely an acquired taste.
I brought two of my friends to eat there a few months later, they were glaring at me after and complained about paying 3500 yen for mud tasting fish.
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