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Mitsuwa in Edgewater

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I think that someone probably already wrote about this, but today I went there for the first time -- accidentally, as I had some time to kill before a meeting at Whole Foods a mile up the way.  Phew.  Wow.  An amazing store.  They have sushi fish and great looking beef, sliced paper thin and stacked just right, ready to go.  I couldn't buy these because I would not get them refrigeratored for 6 hours, and in this heat, imagine.  They also have maybe 3,000 other things that I did not recognize.  Even so, bought $40 worth of green tea, what I am told is the BEST sushi rice in the world ($7 for 10#), and had to leave the rest behind because I was in a hurry.  I will be returning any time I am in the nabe, to buy some octopus and tuna.  Prices, by the way, were fairly steep.

I was the only person in the whole store who was not Japanese.  All of the labels on products were in Japanese, and only a few of those had English translations.  Gotta say, this place is a trip -- that means great! for anyone younger than 40.

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Thanks Jason.  I don't know the area very well, and will certainly check this out.

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On the way back from the movies in Edgewater, Rachel and I stopped by Mitsuwa to pick up some Japanese supplies and grab some Ramen.

I hadn't been to Mitsuwa in at least six months -- a lot of renovations apparently started about two months ago. The Food Court has been completely knocked down, and there are a few new restaurants/food stalls taking their place. Several others are under construction, but currently there is a new, dedicated Ramen shop as well as a bento-box / combination plate type place doing stuff like curries and tonkatsu and ebi furai and kushiage, and a place making those molded cake things. We ordered stuff from both the Ramen place and the bento box place. There's a temporary seating area outside the food stalls while the main seating area is being constructed.

Unfortunately I only had my Treo 600 with me at the time, and not my new Canon, but this should give you a general idea of what is going on.

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Display area for bento/combo plate place, I think it was called Sanuki.

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A beef rice bowl and some sort of fried seafood pancake thing.

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A fried shrimp/korokke/Pork asparagus fried maki combo

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Display area for the Ramen place, which I think is called Sanoku.

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Ramen menu

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Relatively accurate color portrayal of my bowl of Hot Miso Ramen

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Hot Miso Ramen under different lighting


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Mitsuwa's extensive rennovations are essentially complete as of a few days ago. The store is now much more spacious, with all new freezers, a nicer food court area, and a less cluttered feel that extends from the entrance to the spacing of products. The chu-toro and sashimi scallops I bought from their fish department were of especially good quality this time around. As of today not everything was completely finished and stocked, but overall the store much more attractive.

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Italian Tomato balances between Japanese-style Italian and the pastry shop. The former is a bit of an acquired taste. The basic meat and tomato sauces are just that and are decent enough, but cod roe spaghetti is a bit of a leap of faith. I tried it once and opted to toss it and buy a bowl of ramen instead. :-/

They used to have fantastic melon bread at St. Honore. It was filled with what was either melon cream or melon custard. Now it kinda shifts in and out; some days you can find it, some days you can't. If it's there, get it. Definitely also try the green tea soft ice cream at Ito En. It really does taste like sencha. Last but not least, the ramen shop has a new cold ramen dish that's absolutely delicious. It's in a sesame brothy kind of sauce/soup with pickled ginger, sliced zucchini, and a bit of hot Chinese mustard. Blend them all together and you've got the perfect combo for a summer ramen dish. It may sound insubstantial, but it's perfect if you don't want the steaming hot deliciousness that's better for the winter.


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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Last but not least, the ramen shop has a new cold ramen dish that's absolutely delicious.  It's in a sesame brothy kind of sauce/soup with pickled ginger, sliced zucchini, and a bit of hot Chinese mustard.  Blend them all together and you've got the perfect combo for a summer ramen dish.  It may sound insubstantial, but it's perfect if you don't want the steaming hot deliciousness that's better for the winter.

That sounds excellent for the next time we go to Mitsuwa. Is it the Ramen shop with the menu pictured above (Santoko? to the left of the TV overlooking the tables) or the one all the way to the right?

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That's the one, Rachel. If you're looking at the plastic ramen displays, it's to the right, and it's also on the counter to the left of the cash register when you're looking down.

According to the website, Santoka is indeed the ramen shop. It also states that the ramen is in the style of Ashikawa in Hokkaido. I have no clue how relevant or true that is, but it says the salt ramen is the signature dish. I find that the salt ramen is superior to everything else, IMHO.

I have no clue what's in the new ramen, but it tastes like it's a sweeter, lighter version of sesame oil.

My advice: swing by the market part while you wait for your order to grab a bottle of iced oolong tea. I don't recall the brand, but it was on the second shelf from the top near the right of the cold drinks aisle. If you're across from the stall where you can get mochi and bubble tea, you're in the right area for the decent teas. The non-tea drinks are often way, way too sugary for any form of human consumption.


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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Some new Mitsuwa photos, courtesy of my new T-Mobile MDA phone:

gallery_2_4_63139.jpg

what, preytell are these called? we had some "cream" ones today .. they were yummy!


Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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Some new Mitsuwa photos, courtesy of my new T-Mobile MDA phone:

gallery_2_4_63139.jpg

what, preytell are these called? we had some "cream" ones today .. they were yummy!

I can tell you how they are called in Japan. The fish-shaped ones are called taiyaki (tai = sea bream). The oval ones are called imagawa yaki (mainly in Eastern Japan), kaiten yaki (mainly in Western Japan), ouban yaki, and tens of different names!

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Thank you Hiroyuki! What kind of fillings are traditional? They were offered here in only red bean and cream.


Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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Thank you Hiroyuki!  What kind of fillings are traditional?  They were offered here in only red bean and cream.

There is only one traditional filling: red bean jam. All other fillings (fresh cream + red bean jam, custard cream, chocolate, etc.) are (silly) departures from the norm :biggrin: .

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I've yet to acquire a taste for red bean ;)

I really enjoyed my shopping excursion to Mitsuwa. It certainly has changed a lot. I remember going there regularly before it was renamed to what it is now. I was so disoriented that I had to go back in to buy my onigiri. It used to be conveniently located at the front of the store, right near the door.

I did manage to get some ikura and unagi for my bento tomorrow. We'll see how that goes :)


Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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Addendum to the taiyaki (which are best eaten outside in late fall/early winter; trust me on this one): they also have white bean obanyaki. The same thing (different shaped pastry) but not as cloyingly sweet as red bean paste can get.

I think the obanyaki are weekends only, but don't quote me.

Try the yakisoba they make, too. It's great outside during the summer festival (it's meant for kids, so bring them or you'll be bored silly) but fresh off the griddle is fresh off the griddle.

Tug, if you don't like red bean, try the melon bread from St. Honore. It's quality.


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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Are you sure they still make the yakisoba there? I didn't see the big signs they used to have up before the renovation so I asked. The woman there at the time said unfortunately, they don't make stuff like that anymore. Was I misinformed or have they reverted to making them once more (lots of demand?)?

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I was there today, had a nice lunch, and bought a bunch of stuff. There was no yakisoba, though. Now that the interior is entirely complete, I find the dining areas especially attractive. All the seating for the Japanese-cum-American cafe seems like a waste of space though. Since it was right after the holiday weekend, not all of the bakery and seafood items were available, but what I got was very good. I forgot to buy uni though, the primary reason I came out there, so I'm rather upset at myself for that.

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Addendum to the taiyaki (which are best eaten outside in late fall/early winter; trust me on this one): they also have white bean obanyaki.  The same thing (different shaped pastry) but not as cloyingly sweet as red bean paste can get. 

I think the obanyaki are weekends only, but don't quote me. 

Try the yakisoba they make, too.  It's great outside during the summer festival (it's meant for kids, so bring them or you'll be bored silly) but fresh off the griddle is fresh off the griddle. 

Tug, if you don't like red bean, try the melon bread from St. Honore.  It's quality.

OK, so they call them obanyaki.

Oban refers to an oval gold coin formerly used in Japan.

I confirmed with their site: The restaurant, Oishinbo, calls them oh-banyaki (same as obanyaki).

http://www.mitsuwanj.com/en/store.htm#

It's a pity they don't have yakisoba.

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I stand corrected; I could have sworn I saw yakisoba for sale last time I was there. orz

They do have it in the pre-made food place in the corner, near the groceries, and at the little sweet shop where you can get mochi and other Japanese style sweets. I don't know if there's anything different between the two yakisoba; maybe they come from the same area and are packaged the same.

The girlfriend wants to do a picnic, so I'll see if I can finagle some yakisoba there and report back.


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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PLEASE, somebody tell me the address in Edgewater! I lived there as a teenager pre-gentrification, on Beverly Place. I hope the town still has all its' wild roses everywhere, but I doubt they survived. All I can remember about food in Edgewater was the shop on the corner of Dempsy and River Rd. where I could get an icecream soda for 25 cents. :laugh:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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PLEASE, somebody tell me the address in Edgewater! I lived there as a teenager pre-gentrification, on Beverly Place. I hope the town still has all its' wild roses everywhere, but I doubt they survived. All I can remember about food in Edgewater was the shop on the corner of Dempsy and River Rd. where I could get an icecream soda for 25 cents. :laugh:

here ya go :)http://www.mitsuwanj.com/en/location.htm


Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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There's a 98% chance I'll be there tomorrow; any requests for tastings, scouting, photos, information of any sort?


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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