[ Japan ]

Japanese favorites at Mitsue’s Restaurant

THE tempting smell of fresh ginger and spices permeated the air as a wait staff member deftly placed a platter with thin slices of tuna topped with sliced onions on our table.

tuna tataki

Creatively arranged in a neat, mouthwatering design, the tuna tataki was enough to tempt anyone to stick a pair of chopsticks to sample a slice, which was what I did, even though it was my buddy’s order.

The taste of fresh tuna slices bathed in ginger gave a pleasant flavor to my mouth that was still smarting from the hot pickled papaya for appetizer. From somewhere deep in my stomach, I heard rumblings of hunger signaling me to take my dinner seriously.

We were at Mitsue’s Restaurant in San Jose near  Downtown Market on Friday evening for a quick dinner.

My order of mahi-mahi fish fillet with green vegetable salad, rice and miso soup came and I wasted no time in dipping the crispy fish slices into the tartar sauce that came with them.

Friends recommended the crispy pata (deep fried pork leg) and tinola (boiled chicken with ginger-flavored soup), which we vowed to try next time.

Niel, the cheerful wait staffer, gave us bananas for dessert which he said came straight from

fish fillet

his garden.

Mitsue’s special $5 lunch includes tempura vegetables, tempura shrimp, meat balls, vegetable salad, miso soup and a serving of rice.

Try the salad choices of potato, vegetable, tuna and soba to start your meal. Choose from 21 set dishes of Japanese food favorites from $6 to $23: katsudon, gyudon, oyakodon, curry rice, steak set, yakisoba, seafood and more. Sip on the hot noodle soups with egg and choose soumen, udon or soba with beef, pork or chicken for $7.50 to $8.50 per serving.

Mitsue’s ala carte dishes range from $6 to $15 and include popular dishes such as chicken, pork or beef katsu, tofu steak, tempura, shabu-shabu, nimono and more choices.

Cap your meals with soda, fruit juice, tea, milk, or fresh coconuts with shell from the beverage menu, or go for alcoholic beverages such as beers, whisky, cocktails, hot or cold Japanese sake, and tuba, or fermented coconut wine, all from $3 to $6.

Mitsue’s Restaurant gives you a feeling of dining in your home with its walls filled with pictures of locals and tourists who have eaten in the restaurant for the past decades. Its homey ambiance makes you feel right at ease and you can’t stop from smiling when you see the two-page laminated menu in your favorite cartoon characters

pickled papaya

You can choose to sit at the front tables, at the bar or inside the bigger room where there’s more privacy.

Mitsue’s Restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. All major credit cards are accepted. For reservations or inquiries, call 235-7102.

This article was first published HERE

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