Offal. Tripe. Horumon. Gopchang. Kway chap. I simply love eating offal. I haven’t come across an offal dish that I don’t enjoy.
Take me to a Korean BBQ and I will be ordering the beef intestines instead of meat. In a yakiniku restaurant, I would be eating gyutan instead of wagyu beef. In a dimsum place, the dish that I enjoy most is braised chicken feet.
OK, gyutan and chicken feet aren’t exactly offal but what I am trying to say is that I enjoy all the ‘odd’ parts rather than the actual meat.
I came across Tsukiji Kitsuneya on the Internet when I was Googling for horumon BBQ restaurants in Tokyo. Braised beef tripe on a bowl of rice sounded too awesome to miss out on. I had to give this a try. Tsukiji is pretty close to the hotel so off we went one morning for a horumon don breakfast. Eating braised tripe first thing in the morning was not the better half’s idea of breakfast but he didn’t protest.
Tsukiji Kitsuneya is located at the outer market area and we found the shop quite easily. I read about the queues in the morning – fortunately for us, there was no queue on the morning we visited. The old lady at the shop (I presume she is the owner) was constantly stirring a giant pot of mouth-watering horumon. I tried to take a photo of the pot with my iPhone but she shooed me away with a flick of her hand.
Kitsuneya is a tiny place with very little seating space. Except for three to four seats at the counter, the other options are two standing tables outside the shop, which was where we plonked ourselves at with two steaming bowls of horumon don and cups of tea. I think Kitsuneya has other horumon options on the menu but I can’t recall what they are now – my entire mind was focused on getting a bowl of horumon don.
My first impression of Kitsuneya’s food is that the braised tripe tasted bland. I reckoned that I am too used to the stronger flavours of our local braised meats and tripe cooked with star anise, cinnamon stick and five spice powder. But as I shovelled more and more of Kitsuneya’s tripe into my mouth, I began to appreciate the subtle flavours of the sauce and the offal’s chewy texture. Best eaten on a cold wintry morning. It was such a satisfying breakfast for me. I am definitely heading back again when I next visit Tokyo.
Address: 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chūō, Tsukiji, ４丁目９−１２