Tokachiya - an antenna shop for Tokachi, Hokkaido
The English expression "antenna shop" is widely used in Japan, not as an expression referring to a shop to sell radio antennas but a shop to explore the acceptability of new commodities in large markets. In Tokyo, antenna shops by local governments are now mushrooming so as to check the opportunity of their local products. Tokachiya is a sort of antenna shop of Tokachi region. But, it is not owned by a local government but a private company specialized in delivering local specialties of Tokachi.
I got to know the existence of Tokachiya, when I visited Ranran Farm
in Tokachi, which manages Tokachi Millennium Forest including a goat cheese factory. Ranran Farm's management is closely related to Tokachiya and I thought it be a good idea to visit Tokachiya together with my family and close friends to try rare delicacies from Tokachi. To tell the truth, as I went to Tokachi alone and enjoyed its beautiful summer and delicious foods, they were envious of me!
Tokachiya is located in Corridor-gai, a commercial space beneath Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, where a few dozens of restaurants and food shops are accommodated. Corridor-gai is along the Western border of Ginza and not far from Imperial Hotel. Therefore, its restaurants are blessed with this favorable location and Tokachiya is without doubts one of the most popular restaurants in Corridor-gai.
So, I would tell you what dishes we enjoyed there.
First, from among a variety of cheese dishes, we ordered (1)assorted cheese from Kyodo-gakusha
and (2)racrette cheese with three kinds of Tokachi potatoes
. Then, (3)Caesar salad made of fresh vegetables
. (5)Grilled whey-pork with special potato sauce
, (6)slices of uncured whey-pork ham
and (7)spare lib and beans from Tokachi in a cocote pot
were all accepted with applause. There were also delicacies from the Northern sea such as (8)carpaccio with tsubu-gai
(special sort of spiral shell) and (9)grilled hokke
- "Toro" is originally the word to call the fatty part of tuna fish, but nowadays used for any similar kind of meat.
The highlight of today's dinner was (10)buta-don in oshizushistyle(**). When Japan stopped import of BSE questionable beef from abroad, in particular from US, large "beef donburi" chains introduced "pork donburi" in their menu. While their seasoning is similar to beef donburi, in other words similar to sukiyaki seasoning, "pork donburi" from Tokachi is richly seasoned and pork meat is sliced thick. Tokachiya offers "pork donburi" for lunch time, but makes it slightly more elegant in the evening, namely they cut up a big portion into small one bite-size sushi shape delicacies.
It is our traditional habit to eat rice, noodle or pasta at the end of a dinner course, we also ordered (11)spaghetti with sea-urchin sauce and (12)pizza with potato and uncered whey-pork ham. They are yummy.
- "Oshizushi" is sushi pressed in a square mold. Oshizushi is Kansai style and a specialty of Osaka.
However, for women their favorites are desserts and Tokachiya has lots to offer in this category, because Tokachi is center of Japanese dairy products. (13)Sanporoku with milk-gelato was relatively good. (14)Pudding was rather an average. For me, its special Tokachi lager beer tasted extremely good. Its somewhat bitter and refreshing taste reminds me of my first beer experience.
When I checked internet sites for restaurant review, Tokachiya was widely recognized as tasteful restaurant, but somewhat expensive. However, I was satisfied with their food offer as well as its pricing. In this evening we paid only just over 4,000 yen per person, partly because we did not drink much wine. This price might be slightly expensive for young visitors, but is rather reasonable for senior people. The fact that female guests dominated the place must mean that the cost-performance of Tokachiya is more than average. I would like to visit Tokachiya again to try other menus.