It looks the same way upstairs. In fact this stately three-story house, built back in the early days of Showa, used to be the residence of a sake merchant.
If you enter from the back – which is where the actual sake shop used to be housed – it looks rather more down to earth.
That's the area that is now the open kitchen – with the teppan grill..
And that's where the cooking action takes place. Here are a few more images of what's on offer – and what's good – there. Starting with an order of pork, served straight off the steel griddle…
It's from a breed called Seseragi pork, raised in the uplands of Gunma Pref. close to Mt. Akagi. They're fed on a diet high in barley, and given only mountain spring water to drink, which certainly gives the meat great flavour. The slices are marinated in miso before being crisped up nicely on the teppan, then served with a mound of shichimi-togarashi (seven spice).
This came as part of a lunch teishoku (set meal), with a green salad, potato salad miso soup, rice and pickles on the side. Great value for ¥900.
At dinnertime, the menu is a lot wider — and there's plenty of good sake to drink too. Such as Toroman, a hiya-oroshi from Aizu, in the uplands of Fukushima.
Because the teppan dishes can take a while, it's a good idea to order a few appetizers. The vegetable sticks with miso dips may look prettier, but the potesara (that's Japanese for "potato salad") is really tasty too. The spud is mixed with a mayo-miso blend: excellent with the cucumber slices.
Another side dish that is served promptly is the egg; halves of boiled egg slathered with a sweetish yellow miso and then browned over the charcoal grill.
The foil-cooked potatoes are even better: they're cooked with butter and then seasoned with a heaping dollop of sake-kasu mixed with miso. Quite an umami hit.
More pork is called for. This is the imo-buta, from porkers raised in Asahi, Chiba, that have been fed on sweet potatoes. Juicy and rich and piping hot straight from the teppan, it goes beautifully with the Hiroki tokubetsu-junmai.
And yet another great pairing: Meikyoshisui m12, a junmai daiginjō of some refinement from Nagano Prefecture...
… with the dengaku-style eggplant/aubergine. The miso was dark and a bit sweet, in true dengaku style, and the poppy seeds scattered on the top gave a nice contrasting texture to the softness of the aubergine.
What else was good? Plenty, though I don't have many more photos. Here's one final image: the mixed kinoko being given the teppan treatment. The perfect kind of warming fare for cold late-autumn evenings.
Here's a map link to Kagiroi…
And the restaurant web site… As you can see, it's part of the Yumemania group, who are responsible for some really good little places around town.