Mitsukoshimae: Oden
Otako (Mitsukoshimae: Oden)
Open 11am-1:30, 4:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.

Lunchtime is a good time to sample the oden at this long-established specialty izakaya - a teishoku (set meal) with a four-piece oden bowl plus rice, soup and pickles, is just Y780, and there are some seventeen different items to choose from. Four pieces is just about right for a lunchtime appetite, but if you want more you can add on extra items for Y160 each, or Y320 for deluxe items like their special hanpen and stuffed cabbage.

The oden menu covers the usual bases - fish cakes, fish balls, fried tofu and so on - but somehow the results here are a just a bit deeper and more flavorful than usual. The daikon radish is particularly rich, and the stuffed cabbage is pleasantly soft in texture and relatively big in size. Tart pickled cucumber slices, sliced very thin, make a nice contrasting side dish.

In the evening the oden menu expands to 25 items, and they offer side dishes like tempura-fried fish and freshly made tofu. A small list of three or four premium sakes changes every month. The shop itself is fairly large and old-fashioned, with a comfortable counter overlooking the simmering vats, plus a good number of tables. Budget around Y3500 for oden, side dishes and drinks at dinnertime.

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-3-11.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended