A common gripe amongst foreigners living in Japan is that the portions just aren’t big enough. Sure, the fast food chains come up with the occasional mega sized special but short of eating 20 dishes at the kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) there’s very little out there by way of Japanese food (size-wise) to satisfy the larger western appetite.
One such place in Tokyo though that serves up very generous portions is ‘Fukugawa Tsuribine’ which is located just a few minutes away on the east side of JR Kunitachi station (Higashi 1-15-18 2F) which is about 25 minutes west of Shinjuku. This tempura restaurant is closed on Sundays but is open for lunch at 11.30am – 2pm and dinner between 5pm and 9pm.
Whilst in the vicinity recently (for something that will appear on this site in the coming weeks) I thought I’d stop off at this place on my way home to try the giant sea eel which I had read about on the excellent RocketNews24 website only a few days earlier.
For 1100 yen you can get a whopping 穴子どん (anago-don) which is basically tempura saltwater eel served on a bed of rice, in a bowl This place is quite low-key in that its on the second floor and has a very non-descript sign outside with no picture menu or fashionable English phrases which so many other restaurants use. As I nervously opened the door I was greeted by a couple of friendly girls, who took me to a counter seat once I’d confirmed that it was the right place and that they did sell big anago-don.
A bowl of tofu, small salad and a cup of tea was presented to me as I gave my order and when it arrived a few minutes later I wasn’t disappointed. The anago was so ridiculously huge that it couldn’t even really fit in the bowl. Instead, it was draped across the top of it with another four pieces of vegetable tempura thrown in for good measure!
After my increasingly common habit of photographing the meal (done for your benefit!), which I did for a couple of minutes, I tucked into the beast and it sure took a while to even get to the rice! The tempura’s coating was a lovely golden brown colour and it had a nice crunchy taste which, together with its sauce, was so satisfying for this hungry foreigner.
In the end I had to hang my head in shame as my greed got the better of me and I just had to give up. I could have ploughed on but decided to call it quits as it was too much to handle.