Good Eats

Sagano 嵯峨野 @ Shinjuku

I was walking around Shinjuku after a meeting, and it was either a very late lunch or an early dinner. Walked to an izakaya nearby, don’t know why, it was on the 8th floor.

The signboard on the ground floor was tempting, so I went up to the 8th floor. I was shocked, they were shocked, it was empty and they were not expecting a customer at 5pm. Anyway, they served me and sat me down promptly and gave me an English menu. Very polite, but few words were exchanged.

お通し  Compulsory appetiser

Every customer at an izakaya is charged a cover charge, but usually an otoshi お通し will be served as well. This is a small appetiser that sometimes would be absolutely delicious. In this instance, I was given a small bowl of sweet corn with chopped onions and cucumber in a salad dressing.

モツ煮込み Stewed Offals

Motsuni-komi モツ煮込み Stew offals is one of my favourite izakaya dish. Everyone is different. Sagano’s style was made with red miso. Akamiso (赤味噌) or red miso is aged, sometimes for more than one year. Therefore, due to the Maillard reaction, the color changes gradually from white to red or black, thus giving it the name red miso. This miso gave it that deep, salty umami that was so good with an ice cold beer.

馬刺し Horse sashimi

No, this Mr Ed did not lose the race. 馬刺し Horse sashimi was from horses specially bred for their meat. Horse meat is slightly acidic tasting. Like beef, they can be eaten as a sashimi because of the dense meat prohibiting bacteria from penetrating a block of meat. Usually eaten with grated ginger, chopped scallions and sesame oil dip.

Sweet Ebi Sashimi

This was on offer tonight, and so I could not resist an order of sweet ebi sashimi. But you knew why it was on offer once you tasted them.

おまかせ三点盛 Sashimi Three Types

Three slices of three types of fish was presented in this おまかせ三点盛 Sashimi Three Types.

青森産阿部鶏もも唐揚げ Deep-fried Aomori chicken thigh

‘Shamorock Chicken’ is Aomori’s very own breed of chicken. It is one of the most gourmet breeds of chicken in Japan and supplied to the Imperial family. 青森産阿部鶏もも唐揚げ Deep-fried Aomori chicken thigh used this type of chicken, coated and deep fried. Definitely an upgrade from KFC.

豚バラ串, かわ串, ししとう串 Pork belly, chicken skin, sweet pepper

Yakitori is almost a must in an izakaya. But it was always a hit-or-miss affair. This time, it was a miss, i.e. you wouldn’t miss anything if you skip this.

焼きおにぎり(辛みそ・醤油こんぶ) Grilled rice balls (spicy miso, soy sauce kelp)

And to put some carbs, I ordered two grilled rice balls topped respectively with spicy miso and soy sauce kelp. Liked the kelp better, but would prefer the onigiri to be grilled more brown. See my comments about the yakitori.

Miso Soup

And I washed everything down with a nice hot bowl of miso soup.

This is a salaryman place, and the price reflected that too. The damage was around USD 50, and I had one beer. Anyway, the food was so-so, and the place was almost deserted as it was really early when I went.

Sorry that the photo quality was so much worse than the rest of the blogs, it was after all 2012 and shot on iPhone 4 in an environment with poor lighting. The overall ambient lighting was very warm, so I had to adjust the temperature of the photos, causing lots of noise.

Sagano 新宿 嵯峨野
1-chome-14-1 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku City 都 Tokyo-to 
東京都 新宿区 西新宿 1-3-1 新宿サンフラワービル 8F
Tel : +81-3-3348-3566

Date Visited : Jan 2012

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