Apart from Ringer Hut’s Nagasaki champon, I’m in the dark when it comes to Nagasaki cuisine. So when I was invited by friends to this specialty, old school izakaya in Kichijoji, I gladly accepted.
If you have been eating out for a while in Japan, I am sure you must be familiar with Otoshi (お通し). It is a small dish you are served (whether you want it or not) after you have ordered food and drinks. It is basically a cover charge ranging ‘tween ¥200~¥500. This is firmly rooted in izakaya tradition & is an unwritten and unspoken agreement in the restaurant industry which at times I tend to disagree with. Anyway, the Otoshi here is presented beautifully. An assortment of fresh veggies & mushrooms served on a bed of crushed ice with a dipping of miso, mayo & flavored salt.
We tried some local specialties like ~ deep fried kibinago (silver-striped herring), Aji (horse mackerel) sashimi, Karashi Renkon (deep fried lotus root stuffed with mustard), spicy mentaiko enveloped in an omelette, Pork spring rolls stuffed with scallions, Sara Udon – seafood in ankake sauce served over crispy noodles. And of course some succulent pork tenderloin steak which has to be wrapped with thin slivers of daikon & dipped in a home made soy dressing – an explosion of juicy pork & crunchy daikon. Apart from the delicious fare the food presentation is exquisite for an izzakaya.
Been off drinks for awhile but this place is packed with a wide variety of shochu, sake & craft sake from around the country. The menus are in Japanese but the pictures can help you order.
Jigemonton is located in the basement so if you feel claustrophobic don’t go. The atmosphere can get a little smoky but it is lively & the service is friendly. Dinner would average about ¥3,500 per person. A nice touch was a complimentary bag of homemade potato chips on our way out !