Posts Tagged ‘Kitchen 5 Restaurant’

Kitchen 5 – Tokyo, Japan

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Nishi Azabu / Minami Aoyama
4-2-15 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-0031
Hours:Tue-Sat 18:00-21:45
Prices: Moderate

What a “great find”. This tiny restaurant with unpainted plaster walls recreates dishes from around the world and displays them “tapas” style on a crowded wooden bar. The dining room has only one table that seats four, customers must queue for one of the twelve counter seats to become available. The room is illuminated by bare light bulbs hanging on ropes and a draped cloth hides the most undesirable aspects of the kitchen. Nearby, a stack of vendors receipts hang on a nail; an art form of sorts. Along one wall boxes of wine, sacks of onions and potatoes, ropes of chilies and spare utensils are heaped together along with customer’s coats and umbrellas. A rather attractive, dappled cat sits on this heap and preens itself when not occupied finding a comfortable spot to have a nap.
A refrigerated glass case holds some of the antipasti and the rest of the main dishes are spread onto platters that overlap one another on the large wooden counter top. Refrigeration is at a bare minimum, so upon closing it is a tedious ritual to transfer the remains into smaller containers so that they will fit the available space in the fridge.
Even such a grueling schedule has its rewards, as the tenacious owner, Mrs. Kobayashi, closes her tiny cafe and takes off twice a year to places unknown in order to gather new recipes for her waiting fans.
A Galette of Sardines and Frittata of Vegetables came off well, as did the Gigot d’Agneau (leg of lamb) properly rare. An infrequently seen, in these parts at least, Tagine (a type of meat, vegetables and fruit stew) rarely served outside the home in Morocco.
All these dishes are prepared in a space as small as a kitchen in a tenement apartment in New York City.