Shuka Nomoto: An intimate toast to 2021

shuka nomoto an intimate toast to 2021

Congratulations, folks, we got there. Just making it to 2021 is grounds for celebration. Nothing inappropriate, of course, and no boisterous crowds. A quiet toast or two at a discreet, discerning local tavern sounds about right. Shuka Nomoto fits that bill perfectly.

Hidden away in a quiet residential neighborhood on the furthest fringe of Ebisu, Nomoto is not the easiest izakaya to track down. The only indication you’ve reached the right place is the logo on the traditional andon lamp glowing at foot level outside the front door — and the wide picture window that spans the restaurant’s modest frontage.

Anywhere else, this amount of glass might make it feel too exposed, an invitation for passersby to stop and peer inside enviously. No worries here: The only other people you’re likely to see on this particular backstreet will be your fellow diners as they arrive for the evening.

There are just 15 seats in all, arranged in classic izakaya style: one small table, plus a counter that runs the length of a narrow open kitchen that is as clean and precisely laid out as a ship’s galley. This is the domain of owner-chef Daisuke Nomoto.

‘Sake house’: A plate of sashimi is paired with a bottle from Shuka Nomoto’s extensive cellar of sake, wine and spirits. | ROBBIE SWINNERTON

Until opening here three years ago, Nomoto helped oversee the Nakamura stable of restaurants. And there is definitely a shared DNA in his relaxed, understated style, the wide range of sake, wine and spirits on his drinks list and, more than anything, the quality of the food he serves.

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
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