Ok, time to try and catch up.
Sushiko Honten - I don't want to sound too negative - the fish were very good and we got a lot of food, they are extremely nice, the sushi chef is a walking, talking nigiri machine, it wasn't even more expensive than places like Ushiwakamaru but I don't think it was substantially better than Yasuda or other high-end nyc sushi. Maybe the toro was better, sliced off a huge loin, carefully cleaned, then the fatty tip served as nigiri, the bit right next to it as grilled nigiri, and the rest found its way into a fantabulous roll with scallions and pickled daikon, or maybe the ark shell clam, still very much alive... well, maybe it was a little bit better but I don't think I'd put it high on the list of must-visits if you're not here for very long. Ginza locals we spoke with love it (as much as they dislike Kyubei) for the combination of relatively sane prices, amount of food and laid back atmosphere.
Then off to High Five - a cocktail bar started by Hidetsugu Ueno of Star Bar fame on the 4th floor of an Ginza office building (along with such businesses as "Generic Girl Bar" and "Generic Girl Bar Too (no tittie groping)". The moment you step in though (and I risk sounding like Daily Candy here), you're transported into a film noir setting, with Ueno-san and his sidekick working the bar like magic, taking care of everyone in their language of choice - recommending Nikka Yoichi to me as I like Laphroaig (comes paired with highly appropriate smoked radish slices), recommending Laphroaig to a Japanese guy as he likes Nikka Yoichi, making beautiful cocktails... not an inexpensive place to go drinking but a great one. Highly recommended.
Fast forward a couple of nights (will get back to them later) - planned to go to Tsukishima and Kachidoki, stop at a well regarded Izakaya or two for a small bite then get Monjayaki. The first stop, on Kachidoki, was a place called Kane Masu - a sliver of a bar, maybe 10 feet wide with standing room for 15 or so (by which I mean standing room, not moving about room).
This might give some perspective on how narrow it is - there's a wall directly behind the woman you see:
The menu presented its usual difficulties - not only did it use Kanji I don't know but it was hand scribbled on a chalkboard. Fortunately a young couple volunteered to help and we ended up with:
Tuna sashimi roll - a mixture of regular and fatty tuna with sprouts in nori, very nice:
Mantis shrimps - these are in season right now and the samples we got here were significantly better than at Sushiko:
Oyster. Oyster? The plate is a 9 inch dinner plate, people came to snap photos as they've never seen anything like it before and on top of that both flavor and texture were excellent (which often isn't the case for something this size). Garnished with spicy fish roe and scallions - good stuff:
Uni rolled in raw beef - I haven't had this combo yet although I've seen it on a few menus. Works much better than expected:
Finally, some yuba for good measure, topped with shitake, shrimp and peas, not pictured. This place is all about the ingredients. Recommended but get there early.
Then off we went to the second destination of the evening - Kishidaya on Tsukishima - this turned out to be a very old place, with a U shaped bar and some extra seating along the wall and just two available seats. Again, trying to order wasn't going to be simple and the owner could only speak Japanese, but two very friendly businessmen offered to help and also told us we were very lucky - "We've been working around here for years and we've never managed to get a seat here until today". The line out the door later in the evening confirmed that. Anyway, a few hours of conversation, one tripe stew, black cod (I think) simmered in soy and something sweet, broiled clams, broiled cuttlefish, and a comped dish of veggies in miso, plus who knows how many bottles of sake we rolled out of there and figured there wasn't any monja in the books for us. Next time. Recommended with drunken company.
Not related to anything - some random images from the Ark Hills farmers market. There's supposed to be another one in Roppongi Hills with more interesting produce but it runs from 7am until they're sold out and that's just unreasonably early.
Next - Ishikawa.