Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moon Rabbit Onigiri - Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

Rice Ball Charmer
I'd forgotten that Tokyo is a steaming cement stew in August.  I made a quick first purchase - a dark black umbrella, under which we wandered the streets of Jiyugaoka in Meguro prefecture.  Happenstance or perhaps heat stroke led us to a four-seater serving onigiri with sides.  Onigiri are rice balls and the version at Moon Rabbit are pure - unlike my translation of their name.  Officially, the place is called "Tsukitate Onigiri Tsuki Usagi."
820 yen gets you two rice balls and three sides.  We chose tamago, carrot topped with sesame-laced tofu and pumpkin chunks.
I was about to dig in with chopsticks when Dodo smacked me on the arm.  I'm entirely comfortable with doing the wrong things in Japan so it didn't surprise me.  She tsk-tsk'd me and handed over a seaweed skin to wrap around the ball.  I followed her lead.  It was more flavorful than I expected once I struck the secret core of chicken hidden within.
I tried the tamago first and pretended it was terrible to try to wrestle away the other piece to no avail.  I love tamago and this version was soft and sweet.
I didn't expect to like the carrots with tofu but I did.  The sesame seeds did the trick. 
I had the strangest feeling while we picked out our sides.  Here we were deep in the middle of Tokyo, about to eat a quintessentially Japanese lunch and what was the soundtrack?  A French radio station.  I tried out the ladyboss "Parlez-Vous Francais?"  She didn't understand and looked at the Dodo, confused.  So strange the love for France the Japanese have.  All throughout this little burb are French named stores, patisseries serving French fare and even French restaurants.  Remember Godfather III, when Pacino says "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!"
This place is a gem.  The very definition of kawaii. 

Jiyugaoka 山本Biru 1F 1-24-6
Meguro, Tokyo

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4 comments:

  1. Definitely a very charming spot... Onigiri was very tasty. I liked the pumpkin too! Kinda funny that they were playing french music in the background and when FN spoke to shopowner in French, she had no clue! Japanese loves the French!

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  2. @Tokyo Puff - that shit was not funny!

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  3. @Bisou - If nothing else, Japan is super-cutesie. This place backed it up with real grub!

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