There is a fairly interesting market under the railway arches in Ueno, one of the areas within Tokyo’s Taito district. The market weaves under the railway line between the two streets running parallel on either side of the line. It’s mostly ready to wear clothing, accessories and various fashion items, there is also quite a few food stalls, mostly seafood and vegetables as well. I assume that the area is quite lively at night, for there are many eateries here too, most with very appealing and interesting signs.

The smell pumping into the street from a funky looking steak house is so appealing, its warm smoky, meaty fragrance is so inviting, the queue of Japanese folk outside the door before opening tells a tale that this is worth a try.

The beef is served on a sizzling plate, with each new order filling the small room with yet more fragrant aroma, the bean sprout the beef is set upon protecting it from the heat of the metal plate underneath. Shortly after ordering a small cup of uber flavoured beef broth arrives, this really whets the appetite, as if the wafting aroma hadn’t raised it enough. By the time my beef arrived I was eager to dig in.

P1080313I ordered wafer thin sliced beef, quick fried and served with dipping sauce, served sizzling on sprouts, rice was complimentary. The dipping sauce was awesome a great mix of sweet, salty and spicy, they rode umami hard on this, I could taste, soy, mirin, miso, sesame oil and feel hints of chilli.
The restaurant offers combination recommendations to create tasty flavour mixes from the condiments on the table. This was a cool thing to do with some buttery plain grilled steak, which could then be dipped in tasty flavour mixes to enhance the eating experience. It also worked with the rice, as it’s sticky and easy to eat with chopsticks it can be dunked quickly.

Having warmed up, and with a tasty meal in my belly I’m ready to finish exploring this market, then with any luck find some Sakura in Ueno park.