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NAMINAMI Wines to the brim @ Ore No Restaurants

Updated: May 25, 2023

Ten years ago, a tiny restaurant unusually named "Ore no Italian" meaning "My Italian" opened on a back street in Shimbashi. It caught Tokyoites' eyes because it was the first ever standing-only Italian restaurant which served authentic Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Youngsters formed long queues every day & night, packing into a small hall to enjoy Italian food & wine.

Now there are over thirty affiliated "Ore no" restaurants, serving a dozen styles of cuisine. Although we now find shorter queues at the doors and more seats inside, they have kept their original intention of cheerfully welcoming Tokyoites and satisfying their appetites without breaking the bank.

In Shimbashi, not far from the original Italian restaurant, "Ore no Spanish" opened in 2014. With high tables & stools installed, it's decorated like a casual tapas bar, whereas the authenticity of food is maintained. While dipping sliced bread into the hot oil of shrimp ajillo, guests can enjoy choosing their favourite paella from squid ink, shrimps, seafood or a mix of them all.

In Ginza, French and Italian restaurants have opened next to each other. Each one accommodates over a hundred seats and a live stage. Luxury dishes like 'Sea urchin mousse topped with Consommé jelly' are served as appetisers or 'Roasted lamb chop' as mains. Tables are set a little closer together than traditional restaurants, which brings out a livery mood and enables reasonable prices.

Very recently, a Café style restaurant opened in Ebisu. The open kitchen is set close to the tables, which can be extended to the patio on sunny days, where friendly and attentive staff greet guests. House original Cold Carbonara is specially on the menu in summer, along with Sea bream Carpaccio as a starter and Grilled Duck skewer as main.

Each restaurant has developed its original menu, which has kept Tokyoites' appetite satisfied for years. Along with those efforts, every shop has a unique style of serving drinks, named "NAMINAMI Wines". NAMINAMI means that a drink is filled to the brim of the glass. No one can resist grinning when seeing a server filling your wine to the top of a champagne glass. "Ore no" restaurants delivered to Tokyo not only authentic food at a reasonable price but a FUN and ENTERTAINING way to enjoy it.

<Original in Sep 2022 ©Larry_Tak>

Over the last few years, "Ore no" series of restaurants have expanded their range of cuisines even wider. Recently, "Ore no Tempura bar" opened in Shimbashi.

In a tiny hall mainly occupied by a tempura open kitchen in the centre, a handful of counter stalls and some high tables & chairs are installed. A chef in the middle takes each order, then starts deep frying meat, fish and vegetables one after another. Their every move is visible to the guests until the dishes are served over the counter.

In order to ensure maximum cost-efficiency, they limit the variety of tempura, yet many eye-catching dishes are on the menu. From the fish category, a large portion of conger eel is their bestseller, or whitefish delivers a sea of umami. Wagyu beef is reasonably priced and maitake mushroom makes a pleasant crunchy sound.

As you would expect from the standard of "Ore no" affiliates, wines are filled "NAMINAMI" (to the brim). It puts a smile on every guest's face. While enjoying the drink, I realised their ulterior motive. Encourage us to have As Much NAMINAMI Wine until we get drunk. That's their priority; the food is more of an afterthought that best matches the NAMINAMI wines, French, Italian, Japanese or whatever.

In this tiny hall, a waiter goes in and out of the kitchen to bring freshly fried tempura dishes, and within an leisurely interval, brings a bottle of wine to serve NAMINAMI to the glasses. Tempura and wine match perfectly, so their concept is fully accomplished. <Added in May 2023 ©Larry_Tak>


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