Misoshiruya / A set meal where the highlight is miso soup
Misoshiruya is a teishoku place located in Akihbara’s large Akiba-Ichi complex, which is run by UDX.
Teishoku is a type of Japanese cuisine that focuses on set meals, and the food will usually come out on a tray filled with smaller dishes containing multiple types of food. The goal is for the different types of food to come together to result in one, satisfying meal. Let’s see how Misoshiruya stacks up.
Filled with salarymen, even on a weekend day
Upon walking into the restaurant, you’ll probably see it packed to the brim with salarymen (and women) getting in a well deserved break during their lunch hour. This comes as no surprise, as Akiba-Ichi is connected to a large office building that houses many companies. Still, I was seated quickly at the counter, which offered a minimal view into the kitchen. So, there isn’t much of a chance to see the chefs at work, but you can still catch their eye if you so please.
Pick your main dish, and then choose a miso soup
With a name like Misoshiruya (which literally means “miso soup shop”), it’s pretty obvious that the miso soup here is the star of the show, but you start by picking out a main dish. These range from karage ( Japanese fried chicken) to pork with green onions, to eggplant for those who are vegetarians. There are six options in total, in addition to the three specials they have per day. If you want a special, though, be sure to get here on the earlier side, as I saw the guy next to me attempt to order one, only to be told that it was already sold out. After picking your main dish, you choose a soup from the list of three, which seems to change fairly often. The first option will be a lighter, more basic miso soup. Choose this if you want to play it safe. The second is a heavy soup with a very strong miso flavor, so only choose this one if you’re very dedicated to the art of miso soup. The third is a wildcard, and is whatever the chefs feel like putting on the menu, so go with number 3 if you’re feeling adventurous.
Fried chicken takes a backseat to the surprise fried horse mackerel
When your food comes out, it will be on a tray with all of the individual foods divided onto separate plates, as is common at Japanese restaurants. In addition to the fried chicken and miso soup, every meal comes with a cabbage salad topped with wakame (the type of seaweed used in miso soup), the ever-present bowl of rice (the rice and salad get free refills, if you ask), and a fried piece of aji (horse mackerel). Now I know that a name like horse mackerel may sound odd, but the fish had a great flavor, and tasted wonderful with the thick sauce placed at the counter. The sweetness of the sauce was so nice on the fried fish that I used it on my fried chicken as well. The chicken was a bit dry, but had a good flavor, and was different from most other fried chicken I’ve eaten in Tokyo. This chicken had a flavor more akin to panko breadcrumbs, and it worked well with the flavors in the set.
The miso soup reigns supreme
I got option number 2, the strong miso soup. As noted earlier, the real star of the show is the miso. If you’ve had miso soup before, you’ll know that it’s a very thin soup with a nice flavor, but it’s not really all that memorable. I’ve had miso soup countless times since coming to Japan, and this is definitely the first one that has actually stood out to me. Looking into the bowl, the soup is a nice red color, indicated the high heat this miso was subjected to before being put in the bowl. Taking a sip, I was in heaven. The soup had an almost smoky quality to it that I had never encountered before in usually simple, boring miso soup. It was great, and I would honestly come back to this place just for the soup.
Overall, this is very solid food for a decent price. All lunch sets cost 930 yen, which isn’t the cheapest you can find in Tokyo, but you’ll leave Misoshiruya full and happy. Plus, if you’re a miso soup connoisseur (or would like to be), this place is definitely worth a stop in. And skip the first option on the soups, you won’t regret it.
Misoshiruya is located in the Akiba-Ichi building near the station. Take the “Electric Town” exit and go out to the left, towards the Gundam Cafe. Cross the street, and when you see the police box, go left and up the escalator, into the building above the police box. Walk straight down the hallway, and then make a right. When you come to “Dashiochazuke En”, go down the side hallway to the left, and Misoshiruya will be on your right. The place can be a little hard to find, so consult the map if you need help.
Only a Japanese menu is available, and the menu is full of kanji (with no furigana), but the waiter was very helpful, and was able to tell me the main parts of each dish in English.
■Hours 11:00~23:00 from M-Sat, and 11:00~22:00 on Sunday
■Access Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 4−14−1