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Has anyone been to Kanda Kouju?

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Has anyone been to kanda Kouju:

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A13100...

If so, I would be very grateful to hear your feedback - I am going their soon.

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  1. About 5 years ago- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/538916.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      ...and reading this again 5 years later and it's practically useless...I would say go for the sake and the mature environment. They were pretty serious in there. And the selection of cream cheeses is one of their unique charm points.

      1. re: Silverjay

        Thank you very much, Silverjay. I am a sake otaku so this sounds very promising, I really look forward to it. And I love those salaryman places in Kanda.

        1. re: Silverjay

          is this place do-able for english speakers? or would that not work.

          like, do they have a set menu i can just point at (or order ahead of time through a hotel concierge)?

          thanks

          1. re: Dustin_E

            Not recommended on your own unless you can read/ speak some Japanese. But you can try the hotel concierge route and maybe they can call and arrange a fixed menu and sake pairing...Don't do anything to ruin it for the rest of us though ;)

            1. re: Silverjay

              ...Tabelog page says they have 4000 and 5000 YEN courses. That's user entered data. Not sure how accurate it is.

              1. re: Silverjay

                thanks -- i might see if the hotel can arrange something like this for me. if not, i'll skip.

                don't worry, i'm very well behaved. sit, eat, smile, pay in cash. :-)

        2. Have been there a few times this year (twice for sake events - check out their homepage for updates on those), and once to their sister shop in Shimbashi as part of John Gauntner's Professional Sake course.
          Both are well regarded by peeps in the sake trade, and the Shimbashi store seems to be a popular after work choice for workers from the nearby Japanese Sake Brewers Association - which gives you an insight into the calibre of the sake menu.
          The owners obviously have good and deep relations with shuzo from around the country, because there are quite a few rare/limited edition releases on offer, as well as tobin-gakoi (premium selection) sake - most of the interesting stuff is on the handwritten specials list. Plenty of junmai daiginjo's to suit Asomanic's palate, too. While some of the super-premium sake has a hefty price tag, you can offset that by ordering small 60cc tasting glasses so that you can try a broad variety without abusing your wallet. What I like most about the place is that staff are able to answer sake geek questions like rice/yeast varieties and production methods - invaluable information when you're cramming for an exam. (*^_^*)
          With sake as the star, food is fairly secondary; think Akaoni in terms of proportion and quality. Like the Red Demon, there are plenty of umami-packed otsumami snacks for pairing with sake, though their misozuke cream cheese can't compete with Akaoni's Yuzu tofu misozuke IMHO. The otooshi (¥1,200) is impressively sized and priced, but nothing amazing in terms of quality. The course meals I've had there were pretty good, but much preferred being able to order a la carte - go for the kinmedai nitsuke or the buri saikyozuke, if they're on the menu.
          Have fun!

          6 Replies
          1. re: wekabeka

            Wekabeka, thank you, that is SO helpful. Btw, do you still have the same mail address? I tried a few times recently with no luck.

            1. re: Asomaniac

              Softbank's spam filter seems to be blocking kosher mail, too. I'll mail you now.

            2. re: wekabeka

              Ahh, Gaunter just did his course here in NYC for the first time recently. I thought about it but passed. It looks pretty thorough. How did you find it?

              1. re: Silverjay

                For the first time? I think you'll find he's been teaching his course there for the past decade!
                Yes, it was very thorough, and a wonderful overview of sake. For me, it was really just a matter of jumping through the hoops, as you can't take the advanced course unless you have taken the professional course first. That said, it was a very comprehensive review, and the guided tastings of around 200 sake, plus the visits to four kura in three prefectures were invaluable experiences. I highly recommend doing the course in Japan, as even he admits that his US courses lack the quantity/quality of sake used in the tastings, and you don't get the chance to visit kura and immediately apply what you have learned.
                I think the next course is planned for early February 2014.

                1. re: wekabeka

                  Sounds great, though perhaps a little bit beyond my level of passion. I do really enjoy going to these types of shops though and trying lots of different sake. I'm more of a "nihonshu-hound" at this point rather than "nihonshu-otaku"... Will definitely look into their Shimbashi shop for my next visit.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    It's a slippery slide from "nihon-shu hound" to "nihon-shu otaku" - ha ha! Drop me a line when you next come over, and I'll try and push you a little further down the slope.

            3. Just found this comprehensive review. Sounds like you're in for a treat.

              http://iitokorone.blogspot.jp/2010/09...