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Hot Pot Hot Spots

February 22, 2016
Top Picks... Nabemono
It’s certainly getting more than a little nippy in the Nippon capital of late. But, fortunately, there is a sure-fiery local way to fend off the inner-city chills: indulge in a big bowl of nabemono (or Japanese hot pot).

With more types of this steaming, slurpy, stewy staple than you can shake a spoon at, there’s no shortage of eating options where you can get a winter warming fix, but these four are our faves...

Yamariki
This classic izakaya in the shitamachi district of Morishita has been serving up their signature miso-spiked pork master stock nikomi (slow-cooked stew) for more than six decades. Rich in umami, the soupy sup is best served with a side of crunchy garlic toast and a pour-fect wine pairing – ask sommelier Mizukami-san for his recommendation.

Komakata Dozeu
After something even older? Park your tush on the tatami floor seating of 200-year-old Asakusa institution Komakata Dozeu. It serves up a selection of unchanged Edo recipes, including ‘Dozeu Nabe’, a dish of small eel-like fishies cooked whole in a sake-bonito soup and served at your table atop a special hibachi (charcoal grill).

Yoshiume
Aptly perched in a pretty, greenery-fronted former-geisha house, Yoshiume maintains an old-fashioned charm with narrow corridors, low beamed ceilings and kimono-clad servers. Matching the Kyoto-esque aesthetic is the menu of kaiseki nabe dishes, all cooked by the patrons over table-mounted gas burners. Order the set which starts with an appetizer of sake, sashimi and tempura, followed by the house speciality: negima-nabe, a clear broth into which you dip negi leeks, maguro tuna, enoki mushrooms and tofu.

Kapou Yoshiba
Got a sumo-sized appetite? Go where the big guys once ate. This former sumo stable still has its original dohyo ring surrounded by low tables where the wide-waisted wrestlers’ fundamental food stuff, chanko nabe, is dished up in gargantuan helpings. Packed with fish, meat, clams, mushrooms and noodles, the hearty offering will dispel any notion of Japanese food as dainty or delicate. Trust us, one between two will do, poppet.

Yamariki / 2-18-8 Morishita / Koto-ku / +81 3 3633 1638 / dinner Mon-Sat / + Annex branch down the road / yamariki.com
Kamagata Dozeu / 1-7-12 Komagata / Taito-ku / +81 3 3842 4001 / 11am-9pm daily / dozeu.com
Yoshiume / 1-18-3 Nihonbashi-Ningyocho / Chuo-ku / +81 3 3668 4069 / lunch & dinner daily
Kapou Yoshiba / 2-14-5 Yokoami / Sumida-ku / +81 3 3623 4480 / lunch & dinner Mon-Sat / kapou-yoshiba.jp
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