It’s been a while since I’ve had a meal at an upscale restaurant. When I met my friend Q for lunch one day, we couldn’t think of where to go until she suggested En Japanese Brasserie. I’ve walked by it before a few times but it’s usually further west than my usual haunts so I happily agreed to go there.
When we arrived, there were still a lot of people having their lunch (it was around 1:30pm or so when we got there). We were seated in the main room right beneath one of the soaring glass windows that let in a lot of light despite facing a tall building just across the street.
En offers lunch specials that are pretty reasonable considering the amount of food that arrives at your table. Compared to a different Japanese restaurant that offers similar lunch sets, this was definitely the better bargain.
I’ve been having a craving for fried chicken lately so I ordered the fried chicken lunch set. The miso cod set was very, very appealing but all I wanted was fried meat. There are also two daily specials available, one seafood and one land (beef, poultry or pork I assume). On the day of our visit, the land special was a chicken tempura set (I think the seafood special might have been salmon). Q ordered the chicken special after seeing it arrive at a nearby table.
There was a lot of food in the lunch set: chunks of crispy fried chicken, mizuna and watercress salad, freshly made tofu with wari joyu (a mixture of mix of soy sauce and fish broth), a small dish of mushrooms with daikon, housemade pickles, and bowls of steamed rice and house-made miso soup. We also ordered non-alcoholic specialty drinks: a red shiso leaf drink with berries, I think for Q and I had a fancy grape spritzer with lemon.
Thank goodness neither of us had plans afterward. Lunch was nice and slow; we were there for a very long time. A long lunch meant we could enjoy every bit of it, savoring the different flavors and textures. And I left room for dessert too. An ice cream sandwich with house-made matcha ice cream, red bean paste and mixed berries served between two thin wafers. It looked like a little jewel box and tasted delicious.