GINZA SIX EDITORS
新的"什么"以引力等着 Something New Awaits to Entice You
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.76
Text：Kimiko Anzai Photos：Tomoko Shimabukuro Edit：Yuka Okada
For someone like me who works around the clock, nights out with the girls are little rewards. On such occasions, I like to bring my friends little gifts, and I go to GINZA SIX to choose them. Often I’ll go to the Food Floor on the second belowground floor, especially to Heisuiken, Betjeman & Barton, and Sennenkoujiya. And I always stop by Enoteca to pick up some wine for myself.
Finding myself with a little extra time the other day, I went for a stroll at GINZA SIX. EMIT FISHBAR on the sixth floor caught my attention.
This restaurant is known, above all, for its fresh raw oysters. It’s great fun to taste and compare oysters from different production regions. The restaurant’s safety management is unusually thorough. Based on a patented process, the oysters are purified with deep sea water at the restaurant’s own distribution center in Toyama Prefecture. Production regions are carefully selected from all around Japan to ensure the best oysters for a given time of year.
The Fresh Oysters of the Day platter (6-piece combo, 2,880 yen; all prices listed before tax) lets you sample oysters from three regions: Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture; Murotsu, Hyogo Prefecture; and Nasakejima, Hiroshima Prefecture (Nasake no Shizuku oysters). This was the first time I’d tried oysters from Hyogo Prefecture. They turned out to be creamy and juicy.
Normally, I’m wary of oysters and their potential for food poisoning. I’ve put up with eating raw oysters as part of my research for articles overseas. Today, I find myself eating these oysters with abandon, throwing caution to the winds. They fill my mouth with a fresh, milky flavor. Champagne and raw oysters together are an ambrosial match, a divine pairing.
Nor can I pass up the opportunity to order the Oyster 13 Piece Set (3,980 yen). Dry-cured ham and mangos certainly represent a fresh take on culinary accompaniment for oysters. The restaurant offers any number of variations in how oysters are prepared, including deep-fried, herb-roasted, and straight grilled. They also offer platters with both cold and cooked oysters, a combination you often encounter in New Zealand. If you’ve been there and know what I mean, the presentation here will no doubt make you feel excited.
To top everything off, I had Oyster and Turnip Peperoncino (1,380 yen). The pasta and turnips were suffused with the savory taste of plump oysters—lovely! For lunch, you could probably eat your fill on just this one dish. I made a mental note to return here for lunch. I’m told numerous women enjoy themselves here on their own, whether for lunch or dinner.
The restaurant’s wine list is impressive—not necessarily for its range or volume, but for selections that go perfectly with oysters, like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The prices are fair. The Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, for example, is an eminently reasonable 9,900 yen. I’ll return with friends who love champagne and oysters, sometime soon!
Continuing with my GINZA SIX stroll, I’m drawn to quarant’otto on the second floor and stop in. On seeing the appealing displays, I think: “…candy shop…?” Actually, it’s a jewelry store. What caught my attention was the many pictures on the walls. They radiate a dreamy appeal that draws the viewer into another dimension. Noteworthy is that the artist responsible for these paintings is jewelry designer Aika Fushimi.
I’ve never been all that interested in jewelry, but I find the imaginative world created by Aika Fushimi captivating. Her designs aren’t merely beautiful. They seem to tell a story, to hint at hidden aspects. For example, the motif for the ring, Una Storia (200,000 yen), is medieval church cloisters. The idea of a man and woman meeting in such a cloister has a special romance. Another ring, Ede Bibe Lude, refers to the Latin expression “Eat, drink, and play, for after death there is no pleasure.” The fork and pearl design is called Alle Tre (3 o’clock), which means tea time. The concept of pearls accompanying tea is a fun and playful notion, and the design is adorable.
Fushimi-san was in the store that day, and she asked me how I was feeling. I’m a freelancer, I responded; I want to feel stronger mentally. She then chose a pendant for me. I hardly ever try on jewelry in a store, but these designs won me over. I wanted to keep trying one thing after another. Many of the pieces here inspire this response. It was my first experience with the eloquence of jewelry—experiencing jewelry not as an accessory, but as a voice in harmony with qualities inside you.
This is the designer, Aika Fushimi. She tries to be in the store on Saturdays and helps customers in selecting pieces. “I always have so much to talk about with people who like my jewelry,” she says, smiling. Their flagship store is in Firenze. I’m delighted to meet her!
At first glance, the high-heel pendant head looks like Cinderella’s slipper. According to Fushimi-san, however, it’s Carmen’s shoe, taking one step forward toward good fortune—thus, the name Carmen (120,000 yen; chain sold separately). Working women buy the pendant, she tells me, as a good luck charm. The pendant head with a slightly warped clock face is Il Tempo (time) (26,000 yen; chain sold separately). It means: “Seize your time before it slips away, dancing.” I’ve come across so little jewelry that suits my tastes and sensibility; this must be serendipity. I’m prepared to throw myself into my chosen work and to make a return visit.
My last stop is the Food Floor on the second belowground floor. I always make new discoveries here, so it’s one store I never pass on. Today I go to Fu Fu and… by Hanbey-fu, a new style of fu (wheat gluten) shop developed by a traditional Kyoto proprietor of fu named Hanbey-fu. Fu is an essential ingredient in Kyoto-style Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Here it’s sold in modern presentations, like confections. Fu is said to be good for the skin and highly recommended, as long as you don’t have a gluten allergy.
Soup de O-Fu (497 yen each). Pour in hot water and add yaki-fu (roasted fu) to make a delicious soup. I can see myself eating this in the morning on a day off, then I can start out with a different outlook. I buy some for my friends—I’m convinced anyone would find this a delightful gift. The yaki-fu comes in flavors like plain, cheese, basil, and black pepper, a real variety. I like the black pepper.
Here I’m holding Kozue (294 yen), a fu confection. It comes in three flavors: cocoa, matcha, and black tea. The cocoa is crisp and light, so delicious you’ll always want another. A combination of all three flavors would make a nice gift.
I’ve been to Hanbey-fu in Kyoto a number of times both for work and for pleasure. Founded in 1689, over some 330 years, it’s come up with various imaginative ways of preparing fu tailored to the times. The store seeks to make quality products based on a keen awareness of tradition, but I love how it hasn’t relied on tradition alone—how it’s continued to develop products for contemporary lifestyles. I keep making discoveries: I didn’t know fu could be made into charming confections like this. I’m a fan of Eda (1,080 yen), stick-shaped crackers of fu kneaded with Parmesan cheese and black pepper. With champagne or wine, they’re simply perfect.
I’ve been here so many times already, but I always find myself heading to GINZA SIX whenever I’m near Ginza. Could this be because I always expect to encounter something new, because I’m certain I’ll find something stylish?
Text：Kimiko Anzai Photos：Tomoko Shimabukuro Edit：Yuka Okada