Aburiya, Aoyama 炙家 風土 青山

Much to the relief of those readers who are pestering me to write about more Japanese restaurants I am seriously knuckling down to the job. I recently took some visitors from Australia to a very atmospheric izakaya called Aburiya located just down the lane from Kinokuniya supermarket in Aoyama.

While we were waiting for our beers, our waiter brought out half a head of cabbage and some little dishes of dipping oil with sesame and salt. I thought munching through it was going to be a trial but actually, paired with the oil, it was delicious. In fact, this was the best dish of the evening. We ordered a set menu which seemed to cover the basics. We started with a raw tofu which was topped with some chopped spring onion and I found quite tasty especially with a bit of soy sauce. Then a little brazier with glowing charcoals was brought out for us to cook the rest of our food on (much to the horror of one of the members of our party who plainly did not agree with the idea of being asked to do the cooking!).

We were then brought out a succession of little dishes - a green salad with ponzu dressing, a very thinly sliced beef that you could hardly pick off the brazier, raw vegetables, another sliced meat topped with chopped onion and some dried fish (which my dearly departed ginger tomcat back home would have gone nuts over). On the side I also ordered some scallops which were served in the shell, but they could only manage to rustle up three for our table of four, and it wasn't until we had finished the first one that our waiter told us were meant to cook them. I actually thought they tasted great raw. In closing we were offered the choice of either soba or rice, but we each had to choose the same thing as clearly the concept of preparing soba AND rice is something the kitchen couldn't handle.

Whilst I am by no means as negative as the member of my party who said she had "tasted roadkill better than this", I had to agree that the overall experience left me quite disappointed. My main "beef" is that the beef was not good. It was oily and tasteless and way below my expectation of prime Japanese beef (supposedly what we were being served), which is usually amazing. Perhaps we didn't know what to order, but our waiter was not particularly interested, friendly or helpful. For example, when I tried to order the oysters that were on the menu I was just told they didn't have them and he walked off. Personally I think there are way better izakaya than this to be sampled and I look forward to writing to you about them.

炙屋 (青山)





Tel: 03-5770-5039


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