This is the second post in the extended Japan Series 2018. Other posts in this series include Totoro, Fall Foliage, and Tofu Kaiseki.
If you're looking for something that's casual yet a bit different from the traditional izakaya, noodle, or sushi joint in Japan, consider Potsura Potsura (ぽつらぽつら), a modern izakaya that focuses on fresh ingredients from the sea and the farm.
The restaurant sources its vegetables daily from its partner farm Matzuzawa Farms in Azamino, Kanagawa. The restaurant also emphasizes "openness". Chefs prepare food in an open kitchen that patrons lucky enough to score a counter seat (like us!) can observe and enjoy. Head chef and owner Yoneyama Yu truly has a passion for showcasing local ingredients.
The restaurant has received a lot of recognition, bib gourmand by the Michelin Guide and top 100 restaurants by Tokyo Calendar. They offer a nice selection of Japanese wines and sake as well.
It seemed like the perfect place for me: one of my favorite cuisines (Japanese); a strong focus on fresh vegetables and seafood; recognition for excellent cooking at a good value; and the ability to try lots of small dishes (izakaya format).
I made the reservation through my hotel a couple weeks before the trip, just in case.
We started with an assortment of appetizers, all included with a service fee that they charge. It's a generous collection, including small "noodle-like" clear baby fish, beetroot feta salad, chicken and carrots, kabocha squash, potato salad, and deep fried fish served with a creamy dressing.
The next course was phenomenal. A beautiful Vegetable Terrine filled with all sorts of beautiful seasonal vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, Kabocha, etc) held together with a tomato gelee wrapped in lettuce and served over a creamy French dressing. Fantastic flavors. I usually don't like creamy dressings, but I loved the light and zesty dressing as well as the delicious tomato gelee.
Next was a made-to-order egg custard (chawanmushi) topped with ikura. The custard was steamed for exactly 8 minutes and came our perfectly. Yet another simple yet excellent and well-executed dish.
A pork meatball served over Shiitake mushrooms.
Fish collar meat was super buttery and tender.
And then, a simple but lovely assortment of local, seasonal grilled vegetables, like bell peppers, turnips, and radish.
Finally, we ended with a small taste of scrambled egg with rice and scallions.
I really loved the dense, flavorful ice cream, which I believe was some sort of caramel flavor but I actually don't remember.
In general, I really enjoyed Potsura Potsura. It's warm, cozy, laid back, and fun. It's the type of place where you can just sit back and enjoy great food with a glass of nice Japanese wine while catching up with a friend. From time to time, glance over at the kitchen and admire the food that they are creating.
I especially appreciated the emphasis on fresh farm ingredients and overall quality. I also really liked the laid back, relaxed atmosphere. All in all, I definitely recommend this place.
The restaurant is about a 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station. My friend and I walked there from Ebisu. It was a lovely walk, a bit off the beaten path.
1F, Horiuchi Bldg, 22-11 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo