Uchimaya is an excellent little restaurant on the outer edge of Ginza, where madai forms the centerpiece of the menu.Although chef Hideto Uchiyama first set out his shingle here almost a decade ago, I only discovered it a couple of years back.
Nor would you look twice at the nondescript stairway descending from street level. Unless you are with a group and have booked one of the two private tatami rooms, you will be seated at the counter overlooking the narrow prep area (the main kitchen is out of sight).
The cost of Uchiyama’s signature dish, tai chazuke is very reasonable. It is one of those preparations — and there are so many in Japanese cuisine — that seem simple to put together but require great proficiency (plus ingredients of the highest quality) to really excel.
The madai served at Uchiyama are from the Naruto Strait.The fish caught there are considered the best in Japan.Fillets of the fresh madai are sliced to order, and served not on their own as sashimi but in a shallow bowl filled with goma-dare, a thick sauce of creamed sesame richly seasoned with dashi fish stock and soy sauce. Alongside this you get a bowl full of white rice and a side saucer of pickles.
Less is definitely more here. First try the raw fish on its own, with a dab of freshly grated wasabi root. The texture is full and firm. The taste is mild, not at all oily and with a light, underlying sweetness. Next try it dipped fully in that dark-brown sesame sauce. On its own it seems too rich; but eaten with the rice it is perfect.
This restaurant is one of my favorites because they offer great quality authentic traditional Japanese at lunch time. The restaurant looks like a clean, traditional Japanese place. Perfect for friends and family. This place is great because they prepare your meal in front of you. Every dish looks like a beautiful piece of art that it is hard not to take pictures. Seeing the amount of care and detail the chef puts into each meal makes the meal that much better. You can feel the passion in the world they serve.
Uchiyama - Picture perfect Japanese cuisine
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