Bonbori

This casual spot near Suitengumae serves a pretty distinctive version of oyakodon that I thought was really tasty. This was one of those dishes that has a lot of food but is really easy to eat. There is a rich flavor that had me eating bite after bite with hardly a pause, but it’s not too heavy so that I (mercifully) didn’t suffer too much for my gluttony. I ate it on a drizzly Saturday for lunch before heading to a baseball game and it fit that kind of day perfectly.

The chicken here is cooked over charcoal and comes out smoky and, unusually, quite dry. That means that this isn’t a silky smooth oyakodon with juicy chicken and barely-set eggs. This one is much more like a contrast between the textures of the chicken and the egg. I think it works. The smoky char of the chicken holds in flavor in a really interesting way and goes great with the rich dashi on the eggs. The effect is a bit like American barbecue, where a good charred meat and a rich barbecue sauce go together perfectly. It’s the same kind of principle here—with completely different flavors, of course!

For a neighborhood place, Bonbori is surprisingly spacious and bright inside and it has a pretty stress-free vibe. If you happen to find yourself in the area, I think this is a nice place for a cheap, delicious meal.

Bonbori 1-chome-5-1 Nihonbashikakigaracho, Chuo City, Tokyo

Last visited: Summer 2019

Tips: seems to be busy during the week but much quieter on the weekend

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