Takadanobaba is very much a student district. Therefore, all the bars or izakaya are filled with young students and are often quite noisy.
However, there is one undiscovered bar here. It targets a more mature clientele and has a quite calm atmosphere, too.
I am talking about “Kokoro”, a Japanese style izakaya bar.
They pride in using fresh fish and vegetables that directly come from Goto-retto Islands or Sanriku.
Take the Waseda Exit of Takadanobaba station and walk towards Nakano.
You can easily pass by the narrow entrance without noticing it.
I open the door, and see that there is a basement floor and a mezzanine.
It kind of looks like it was meant to be hidden and unnoticed… which makes it more special!
I am taken to the mezzanine. So excited!
It is a table for four.
The customers definitely look more mature and most of them are peacefully enjoying their drinks.
We order drinks, and the staff bring us the hors d’oeuvre.
Plump clam in a chilled turnip dashi (broth).
It has a very subtle and refined flavor. It’s truly delicious! Can’t wait to taste the rest!
And here is Kokoromori, the restaurant’s specialty.
The dish includes sashimi of all the different fresh fish of the day.
There is even urchin! It doesn’t have that strong smell it sometimes does and is fluffy and creamy. It’s heavenly!
The other fish, including the ones I’d never heard of, were excellent as well.
This delightful dish takes my satisfaction level way way up!
I found on the menu, Shuto-potato, my favorite snack with sake!
I absolutely love the combination of tuna entrails with hot potato.
Ahh I think I need some sake, please!
The Kibinago-karaage (fried pond herring) is another dish I love to have with sake. I can’t put my chopsticks down!
And here comes the main dish of the meal.
Herb-grilled chicken thigh meat.
It arrives on a hotplate, making a sizzling sound.
So smoky… let’s try to get a better picture.
This is stunning. The skin is grilled till it’s nice and crunchy. The smell is so appetizing.
Okay, I am going to take a piece.
I hardly think it’s necessary for me to even say this… but it’s delicious. Simply.
The meat is very juicy. There is minimal seasoning so you can taste the actual taste of the chicken.
And did I mention the price? Only \638. How reasonable!!
Here comes the Arani (boiled fish bones) of the day. I remember asking what kind of fish it was this day, but I think the alcohol got the best of me…
The fish meat stuck in the bones is so tasty! Not too sweet, it’s been seasoned just right. Again, this is the perfect dish to accompany with some sake.
Kokoro has a wide selection of sake as well as dishes to go with. I highly recommend this little spot to all lovers of drinking!
Thank you for this exceptional dinner!
|4-11-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo|
|2 min walk from Takadanobaba station|