For this edition of Tokyo Thursdays, I had orginally planned to share a recipe with Japanese roots.
Then I stumbled upon Tokyo Food Life, a one man site by Michael Kleindl.
From my quick visit to the site, it seems that his focus is on places only someone who has lived in Tokyo for a while would know, not the fancy schmaltzy or touristy ones.
In his latest piece The Spice of Life and Rocking Chair coffee in Shitamachi (August 26), he suggests that "The spice of life is not a leaf, or a seed, or a powder. I think it is satisfying work. Here are two spots in Shitamachi where you can experience such satisfaction."
Spotting coffee shops with an independant streak called 'kissaten' are one of Michael's pleasures.
He recommends Satei Hatou in Shibuya. He also recounts a strange encounter with the owner of Coffee Western Kitayama in Ueno who first refused him entry "saying that only “kawatta okyaku-san” or “strange customers” could enter.". The man's rules is “No photographs, no talking about business, no laptop computers, no reading", the reason for it according to Michael Kleindl is that at that shop all attention should be devoted to coffee.
Nose to tail amateurs will want to check his visit to Nihon Saisei Sabuka a standing room only place whose menu of pork innards (offal) includes "delicacies such as larynx, spleen, birth canal, tongue, choice uterus, brain, rectum, diaphragm, and cartilage" that you can enjoy at counter above.
You cannot help but note that Tokyo Food Life is Ad, Link and Sponsor Free, no Facebook or Twitter teasers, no lists, books either.
Deep down in the heart of Tokyo with Tokyo Food Life for Tokyo Thursdays # 207
(* Photo of Nihon Saisei counter from the pages of Tokyo Food Life)