Have you heard? There's a Michelin two-star chef running a two-month pop-up in central Tokyo. But this one is not inside a plush, high-rise hotel. It's a food truck — or kicchin kā (kitchen car), as they're known here — and it's the brainchild of one of Japan's most renowned chefs, Yoshihiro Narisawa.
The project, named One of Japan, has the perfect wintertime location, by the entrance to the skating rink behind Tokyo Midtown. It also boasts a great menu of hearty cold-weather food.
One of Japan is a play on the word wan, meaning "soup bowl." Every day three different kinds of stews are prepared, based on local Japanese specialties. The initial lineup includes ozōni, a Kyoto-style white-miso soup with grilled mochi (pounded rice) cakes; ishikari nabe, the classic Hokkaido fishermen's hotpot; and Hakata motsu nikomi, simmered tripe and vegetables in a rich, spicy miso-based broth.
For extra heft, they have sandwiches of freshly grilled pork or chicken in 18-grain rolls. And as a nibble on the side, there are kaki-furai, breaded deep-fried Hiroshima oysters.
For those who only know Narisawa through his eponymous modern-French restaurant in Aoyama, this venture may seem surprising. But there's one thing you can depend on: Anything he does is going to be top quality.
Narisawa Kitchen Car One of Japan at the ice rink in Tokyo Midtown is open daily 12-8 p.m. through March 8. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/NARISAWA-KITCHEN-CAR-One-of-JAPAN/434288743389112