4 days in Japan -05/19/ - 5/23-2018

Day 2-Kamakura-5/20/2019

Dinner at Kotaru, Tokyo

 I asked my co-worker from Japan to look for a nice restaurant for us with the following criteria, good food, good sake, and fun ambiance so he came back with a reservation for us at Kotaru located in the backstreets of a quiet residential corner of Shibuya.  It’s also a very popular place with the locals, so do not expect to walk straight in and be able to get a seat. It’s essential to make a reservation at least a week in advance.

Kotaro is a modern izakaya run by Chef Kotaro Hayashi and his team where the sake and food share equal billing in a relax atmosphere, that is exactly what we are looking for.

 Kotaro is hard to find, hidden in a pedestrian alley behind the Cerulean Tower and of course we had a tough time finding it.

We asked for help with a few people in street but they did not know this place so finally this random man, a total stranger was kind enough to take us to the restaurant.  He walked with us for 5 minutes showing us the way.

People in Japan are so nice, they really go of their way to help you out.


The first thing you see when you walk in is the open kitchen and a long counter that can seat a maximum of 10 people.

All the vegetables and seafood are direct from local farmers and fishermen.


Behind the counter you can see Chef Kotaro Hayashi and his team in the back ground working behind the counter.


No English menu so this is going to be very easy for us.  Our waiter spoke English so to make it easy we asked for the Omakase (chef's menu) so we did not have to choose anything and we will let the Chef decide for us.


Hot towel to clean up before the meal

Our table was located at the end of the room.  Hoa started with a cocktail



The first dish is a bean dish -very humble and simple dish but executed correctly it is a really satisfying first course.


Beans, green vegetable, mushroom topped with katsuobushi (dried and shaved skipjack tuna).


Sashimi course whith 3 different type of fish.


This is so good!  The fish smell like the ocean, the squid is so sweet, simply delicious.


They have lot of sake so our waiter recommended at least 2 different type.  Starting the first one with this green botlle.


You select the bottle of sake and then our waiter pour it into a metal container (one portion).  Two little porcelain cups were given so you can drink out of it. 


Hayashi’s potato salad (“potesara in Japanese) is a classic. He blends two types of potato, coarsely mashed with cucumber to give greater depth and texture.  On top of the potato salad is half of a soft-boiled egg that has been lightly smoked over cherry-wood chips and thentopped with a tangy mustard vinaigrette on top.


Beautiful presentation and also so delectable!

This is one of the signature dish.


Lobster wrapped in cabbage with miso broth.



Cabbage is a humble vegetable but here it is elevated by stuffing lobster inside and the broth is very light and delicious.


On to the next bottle of sake-they are all very good.


Can't remember this dish but it looks like there are cucumber and maybe chicken in it?



Another signature dish is the Menchi katsu  made with ground meat that is breaded and deep-fried.

Really good with sake.


The last dish is another one of his signature dish: hand cut fresh udon noodles that he kneads and cuts himself each day, in the style of his hometown in Kagawa Prefecture.


The hand-cut udon noodles are topped with daikon, crispy tempura crumbs, and a squeeze of lemon.


Light sauce to be poured over the udon or you can just dip the udon inside the sauce- very yummy!


Ending the meal with Ice cream.


We are so glad we came here for dinner.  Very unique izakaya with unusual Japanese dish.  The staff speaks English so it was very easy to communicate.

Excellent food, great ambiance, and very good service.


    NEXT..........Day 3-Ueno Park




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