Mifune is an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant in Roppongi, but it is also the name of the very famous actor Mifune Toshiro. He is most remembered for his lead roles in legendary director Kurosawa Akira’s movies, such as Seven Samurai (1954) and Rashomon (1950): both black and white classics. I saw the latter and found it very interesting and quite special.
From the street, Mifune – the restaurant – looks like a very old Japanese house with all dark wood on the façade. You could almost expect Tajômaru (Mifune Toshiro in Rashomon) emerging from the restaurant waving his sword.
The interior looks like a samurai hall or a Ryokan (traditional inn), made of light and dark wood. Here and there Mifune’s posters or signs appear on the walls and plates.
When you enter the restaurant‘s hallway, you have to remove your shoes, as is the tradition in Japan. Once in the restaurant, the cooks behind the counter scream the customary “irashaimase” to welcome you.
You can sit at the bar around the open kitchen, or at one of the tables with chairs on the side, but our party had the semi-private room. The table is low but luckily the Japanese found a way for us Gaijin (foreigners) to sit comfortably. The floor is actually raised high enough to have a big hole under the table where you can slide your legs and be seated as if you are on a bench. A cushion beneath your butt and you are very comfortable. There is absolutely no way I can sit in the seiza style like the Japanese – my legs would be completely numb in less than five minutes.
The menu was quite varied. We started with a half egg with tsukemono (Japanese pickles).
Tempura crab legs.
Followed by a beef salad with miso sauce.
I always order sake in Japan when I eat Japanese food: first because I love it, and second because it complements the meal better than wine.
The onigiri (rice cakes) were gigantic, the kind of ogres size. Usually you order one piece per person; here one piece was enough for three people.
The masterpiece was the fabulous boat of sashimi with dry vapor escaping from it. It was spectacular as well as delicious! Different kinds of fish and shellfish were beautifully presented. The picture speaks for itself. Everything was fresh and tasty.
As we were a big group having fun and celebrating a friend’s birthday we stayed till the closing. We didn’t have the energetic “arigato gozaimasu, mata kondo kite kudasai” when we left but the last server was very pleasant and let us enjoy our time very politely.
Mifune is a great place to eat authentic Japanese food in Roppongi. For ¥6.000 (around 50€ or $56) you have a very lavish dinner. It is appropriate for either small or big groups, family or friends.
Minato-ku, Tokyo-to 106-0032