Food Sake Tokyo Updates

Ivan Orkin has closed both of his shops in Tokyo and focusing his energy on projects in New York City. We look forward to the day when Ivan is back in Tokyo with another Ivan Ramen and wish him the best in NYC. The updates below are current as of 6 March, 2016.

Please print the Food Sake Tokyo Updates 20160306.



Food Sake Tokyo Update – Kanda Yabu Soba is closed

Sad news came to Tokyoites on the news last night as video footage of a fire at the historic Kanda Yabu Soba. News reports that no one was injured in the fire. The fire started last night during dinner service. One of the restaurant employees smelled smoke and the restaurant was quickly evacuated.

What I will miss about the restaurant besides the soba is the okamisan (female proprietor) who would sing out each order. This singing is a tradition that has been passed down. It is something that I have only seen (I should say heard) at Kanda Yabu Soba.

UPDATE: On the 20th of February, the day after the fire, a Kanda Yabu Soba spokesperson said on NHK news that they hope to reopen the restaurant in about six months’ time. They ask for the support of their customers if they reopen. We all have our fingers crossed.

Food Sake Tokyo Updates 20130220 includes all updates to my book, Food Sake Tokyo, including Kanda Yabu Soba (page 111).

Food Sake Tokyo Update – Nakaiseki Sen has closed

Chef Yumiko Kano’s Nakaiseki Sen has closed. She has moved locations and focusing her energy on her cooking school. Classes are in Japanese only. I recently attended a class here and learned so much about cooking with Japanese vegetables. Definitely worth visiting if you speak Japanese. Her website is below (Japanese only).

Food Sake Tokyo Update – Kiya Nihonbashi has moved

Kiya Knife Shop 木屋 *Note – this is the NEW address for Kiya Nihonbashi

Nihonbashi-Muromachi 2-2-1 中央区日本橋室町 2-2-1

Chuo-Ku Tokyo Coredo-Muromachi. 1F

Tel 03-3241-0110

10am – 8pm seven days a week
Closed only on New Year’s Day. (English)

The corner shop, opened in 1792, has a sign in English, “World’s Finest Cutlery” over the door. The compact shop displays a shining collection of knives, pots, pans, and many things for the kitchen. Here you will find graters, pepper grinders, tweezers for pulling bones out of fish, as well as scissors and gardening tools. The friendly staff is patient and will help you to find exactly what you are looking for.

Update – Fukumitsuya in Ginza has closed

Fukumitsuya Ginza

Fukumitsuya Ginza

In Food Sake Tokyo on page 182 I have listed Ginza Fukumitsuya (Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-5-8) as a sake shop worth checking out. Unfortunately they have closed their doors as of July 31, 2011.

It is so sad to see special shops like this shut their doors.

FYI, the other shop listed in Food Sake Tokyo that has also closed since going to print is Nebariya (Shibuya-ku, Hatagaya 2-48-2), a restaurant specializing in natto on page 75.

Food Sake Tokyo Update – Nebariya in Hatagaya is closed

UPDATE to Food Sake Tokyo:

Nebaryiya, a restaurant specializing in natto and other sticky and slimy foods has closed. This is mentioned in the natto section in Food Sake Tokyo.

Natto, fermented soybeans known for its stinky aroma and slimy texture, is one food that may be hard for non-Japanese to appreciate. Popular at breakfast in Japan natto is stirred using chopsticks until it is thick and sticky. Soy sauce and Japanese mustard may be stirred in to the natto before it is spooned over a bowl of rice. Condiments-such as grated daikon, leeks, bonito flakes, sea vegetables, pickled apricots (umeboshi), Japanese basil, and in some parts of Japan, apples or sugar-may be added. Dried natto with nori and other seasonings (furikake) is often sprinkled over hot rice. Dried natto beans are a popular beer snack.

Not all natto is the same. It varies according to the size of beans: large, medium, or small; whether the beans are choppped or not; the type of bean used. Most natto is sold in plastic containers, but natto wrapped in straw will have a richer aroma, texture and flavor.

Natto can also be used as a topping for pasta, or as a filling for deep-fried tofu parcels, or as an addition to fried rice or an omelet. In another dish, called bakudan (literally, “bomb”), natto is mixed with a raw egg yolk, okra, slimy potato, squid, and raw tuna resulting in a very healthy, very slippery, very slimy mixture that is  eaten over rice.

Devotees of natto use special natto chopsticks that are designed to make the natto stickier when stirred.

Nebariya ねばり屋 – CLOSED!

Shibuya-ku, Hatagaya 2-48-2, Ei Building B1 渋谷区幡ヶ谷2−48−2英ビルB1

Tel. 03-5358-8257

11:30 – 23:00, no holidays (Japanese)

Nebari means sticky, and this basement mom and pop restaurant specializes in what may be considered Japan’s stickiest food, natto. The menu is composed of simple rice bowls (donburi) of natto served with accompaniments such as spicy fermented cabbage (kimchi), okra, slimy potatoes, and raw tuna. The counter seats around the open kitchen allow you to watch your meal being assembled. On the street in front of the shop is a menu board with photos of popular set menus.