The three sturdy wooden doors that form the frontage of Kinsai open out onto busy Yamate-dori, a 10-minute walk from Naka-Meguro Station. It's an unromantic location, but that doesn't deter the well-clad clientele who have been filling the place every night since it opened at the beginning of this month.
There's a definite buzz going on here -- and with very good reason. Kinsai is the latest addition to the stable of estimable eateries created by the people behind To-Vi, the company that more than any in Tokyo has made it hip to eat -- and eat well -- on your feet.
First with Buri in Ebisu (and its more orthodox spinoff in Akasaka), and then at Buchi and Bongout Noh on opposite sides of Shibuya, they have shown that style doesn't have to be flashy, informal isn't the same as casual, and Tokyo gourmets are just as happy to squeeze into convivial tachi-nomi "stand-bar" spaces as they are to sit down, provided the kitchen and cellar are of a good enough standard.