Matsuwa is a restaurant in Kyobashi, famous for their “aji-furai (deep-fried horse mackerel) teishoku”. “Teishoku” are set menus with rice, miso soup, a main dish and side dishes usually served on a tray. The main dish and side dishes will vary according to the restaurant and/or day of the week. They are a popular lunch among “salaryman”, a term used often in Japan to describe salaried employees, but are a good choice if you want to have a well balanced meal.
You will be surprised to know that Matsuwa serves only the “aji-furai teishoku (deep-fried horse mackerel set menu)” for lunch. And 70 sets only! They open at 11:30, and they are usually closed within an hour or so. You will probably notice Matsuwa right away after exiting the No.2 exit of Kyobashi-station as there is usually a que before they open. I visited them on a Saturday at around 11:20, and there were already more than 20 people ahead of us.
The restaurant is not that big – it seats around 40 people including the counter, but we were lucky enough to be seated in the first round. There is only one waiter dressed in a white “kappogi” (Japanese coverall apron) who takes orders and delivers the food very promptly and systematically, which is also Japanese like and quite impressive.
The “aji-furai teishoku” is 1,300 yen (as of March 2017), and you can also choose to order marinated sashimi (raw fish) at 300 yen. They use sashimi that are delivered in the morning of that day, so it is super fresh!
Their name, Matsuwa comes from the Matsuwa fishing port in Miura-shi of Kanagawa prefecture. They have a strong connection with the Miura Fishing Port Cooperative Association, and the fish that were caught in the morning of that day is delivered straight from the port.
The “aji-furai” is a typical Japanese dish, but I must say that the “aji-furai” I had here is the best that I have had yet. Though the outer part is light and crispy, the fish is soft and almost fluffy. The contrast is superb! It is also eaten in a special way. “Aji-furai” is usually eaten with worcester or tartar sauce, but here, it is served with granted daikon (Japanese radish) and wasabi (Japanese horseradish that is commonly served with sushi).
Below is the Matsuwa way of eating “aji-furai”. It is written on the back of the menu.
- Roughly mix the granted Japanese radish and wasabi.
- Place the Japanese radish on the aji-fry.
- Pour a few drops of soy sauce.
*If you like hot foods, you can choose to add “yuzu-kosho” (paste made from yuzu zest and chili peppers)
- Take a bite!
Matsuwa is only a 10 minute walk from Ginza – if you are heading to Ginza, why not stop by for an early lunch in Kyobashi at a locals’ favorite?
Address: Akiba Building B1F, 3-6-1 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: 1 minute from Kyobashi station (10 minute walk from Ginza or Yurakucho)
Opening Hours: Lunch -11:30 – (until 70 sets are sold), Dinner-17:00-21:00
Closed on Sundays and Holidays
No website available – here is the link to the Tabelog page – Matsuwa on Tabelog