Sunday, January 5, 2014

三田ばさら Mita Basara: Tomato Beef Sukiyaki

Another excellent restaurant that is what I called "hidden in plain sight". Why? Simply because it is located off an very ordinary Tokyo street where many just walked past easily without noticing its presence at their feet. Picture above indicates several landmarks (not only the Tokyo Tower but the various signboards) to spot before you find the restaurant 
Located at our feets? Yes, take the stairs down to a warm cosy place where one is least expect to believe that it has clinched a Michelin Star.  
Mita Basara's star dish is none other than the Tomato Sukiyaki. It's the only place in Tokyo where you can find tomatoes added into sukiyaki, a very unusual but successful dish. Beware of the hot ceramic claypot as the pot of dark brown sauce bubbled furiously with heaps of wrinkled wagyu beef jumping in the heat.  
It was available as a lunch set together with rice, egg tofu and red miso soup for ¥2500.

You don't have to taste it to know that it's good stuff. 
The aroma of sukiyaki sauce and beef is simply one of the best smell that triggers one's appetite. Each pot contains one and a half tomatoes with 100g of top quality wagyu beef and caramelized onions. Never mind the oil floating on the surface. Scoop them onto your rice and the combination of sweet, tart and umami is just too overwhelmingly delicious that I think it should earn more stars.  
Lunch Kaiseki starts from 3500 to ¥5500. Since we already had the Tomato Sukiyaki Gozen, we opt for the Mita Kaiseki (6-course) for 3500 that comes without the sukiyaki. 
This course may take up a longer time as each dish is served one by one. 

Appetizer: Burdock Root Sushi, Wakame seaweed, Small fishes that taste like soft mini ikan bilis and Scallops, tobiko roe, Wakame and Jelly in a transparent conch shell. 

I nearly thought this entire thing was edible. It's actually a conch-shaped glass filled with wakame, jelly and scallops.
Soup: An extremely light celery soup with soft fish cake and meat in the centre.  
Sashimi: The fish is flown in by air from Tokushima. Freshly grated wasabi though the meguro not evenly sliced.  
Yakimono: Grilled Fish with snow peas and pickled lotus root 
Shokuji: Rice, pickles and miso soup 

The red miso soup with shimeji mushrooms does not drown one in tons of salt but has a very rich earthy tone.  
Dessert: Kanten Jelly with Kuromitsu sauce, red beans and strawberry. Very good texture and well-controlled sweetness. This is also included in the earlier Tomato Sukiyaki set. 
Ala carte menu is available only at night and the price range of dinner sets is, of course, higher. If you have only space for one item, it is definitely the Tomato Sukiyaki. The portion is big enough for sharing between two.  

Mita Basara 三田ばさら
Minato-ku, Shiba 3-43-16, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5444-6700 
Daily 11.30am-2pm 5.30pm-9pm

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