"It's still gibier season," proclaims the sign on the street corner outside Wana. And who could argue with that? There's no reason why game meats and wildfowl should only be eaten in winter. If they're readily available, why shouldn't we enjoy them all year round?
Venison, wild boar and pheasant are the main meats at Wana. Despite using the French word — "gibier" has now passed into common gourmet parlance here — all three animals are sourced from within the country, direct from the Japanese hinterland, where they have long formed part of the diet of local hunters.
What makes this bright, cheerful little restaurant in Uchi-Kanda unusual is not that it specializes in traditional Japanese game — indeed, that is just about all it offers — nor that such meat is on the menu year-round. The main reason Wana is worth knowing is that it's the opposite of most gibier-specialist restaurants in Tokyo.