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Eating out / Warm your body and soul with Manwu’s creative oden

The Japan News

Manwu chef Toshihiro Yoshida prepares oden at Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho in Chiyoda Ward.

Etsuo Kono / Japan News Staff WriterThe signs of autumn are all around us now. If you’d like to warm your body and soul with some terrific oden, pay a visit to Manwu, a restaurant for oden and Japanese cuisine that opened a Tokyo branch July last year on the third floor of the Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho complex in Chiyoda Ward.

This creative oden restaurant is operated by the well-known Japanese restaurant Kagaman. Manwu’s key location in Osaka has a coveted star in the Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka, and Tokyo’s Manwu brings its flavors to the capitol.

In Kansai style, the restaurant’s oden items are well seasoned one by one and then simmered together. Great care is taken to procure fresh ingredients, such as tofu from the Mt. Daisen area in Tottori Prefecture.

There are about 30 items in the oden, including tofu, stuffed cabbage, rice cakes and other ingredients. Foreigners eating oden for the first time should probably ask the chef to choose ingredients for them from the pot.

Stuffed cabbage, daikon Japanese radish, tofu, konnyaku yam cake, yuba dried bean curd and other ingredients are especially popular, as their texture is similar to pot-au-feu. To finish up, the restaurant recommends a combination of rice and a small sukiyaki nabe hot pot.

Another draw for the restaurant is 44-year-old manager and veteran chef Toshihiro Yoshida.

Yoshida spent his childhood in Britain and lived in Belgium from the ages of 15 to 20, so he is fluent in both English and French. After he graduated from college in Tokyo, he joined Kagaman in the hope of introducing Japanese cuisine to the world.

Yoshida was the manager of Manwu’s head store in Osaka for about 10 years. He also teaches customers about oden’s ingredients and how to make it. The other day he had a lively conversation about soccer with customers from Liverpool.

“I don’t like being too formal. So I often dive into the customers’ hearts,” Yoshida said.

“Foreigners can enjoy eating oden without anxiety when they can communicate with us more easily. Customers may taste oden as a means of knowing one of Japanese cuisines,” said Yoshida.

At lunch you can have oyako-don (chicken and egg bowl) for ¥1,200 including tax or tanin-don (beef and egg bowl) for ¥1,400. At dinner you can choose one of two recommended course meals for ¥12,000 or ¥15,000. You can also pick oden dishes a la carte.

Manwu

Open: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.(L.O. 1:15 p.m.), 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (L.O. 9 p.m.)

Address: Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho 3F, Kioicho 1-3, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Tel: (03) 6256-9767

English menu available.

Credit cards accepted.

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&dSpeech

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