By Peter Sidell
An absolute Mishima institution, Jun has been serving up hearty, affordable 'Japanese Western' comfort food to the locals since 1955. Just round the corner from Sanshin Zen Gallery a few minutes' walk from the JR station, it's a good place to go for a tasty, filling lunch or dinner that won't break the bank.
There's a bicycle in the window - it's on the second floor - and the interior design is as eclectic as that suggests. The bare walls and partitions are adorned with leafy plants, colourful ceramics and candles, faux stained glass and superhero comic-book covers, while in the bar area you'll find collector figurines behind the counter, baseball bats and gloves to one side. The lunchtime music was swingy '50s jazz of the kind that has prolonged rattly drum solos, and had me fully expecting Dean Martin to saunter on in and light one up.
On my lunchtime visit, I went for the hamburg steak with a light soy-based sauce and grated radish on top. This was very nice, with the juicy meat, light sauce and smooth radish melding together nicely. It was slightly small for a hungry Englishman, so I treated myself to the framboise cake for dessert, which was also light, but full of flavour. When I went for dinner, I went for a big no-nonsense omu (omelette) curry rice: as Japanese curry tends to be, it was mild when compared with Indian or Thai curry, but still had a nice spicy bite, and properly filled me up.
The menus are only in Japanese, but there are a good number of pictures, and on my second visit the friendly waitress could speak decently good English. Most lunch dishes are ¥1080, including salad and either rice or bread: hamburg steak, fried cutlets of pork or ground beef, shrimp macaroni gratin, while for ¥1300 you can have cream croquettes, and ¥1750 gets you a selection plate (¥680 for a kids' plate). The dinner menu has many of the same meals, and also beef curry for ¥1080, my omu curry for ¥1300, two sizes of roast beef for ¥850 or ¥1600, spinach salad for ¥820. Wine, beer and cocktails cost from ¥500 to ¥650, and desserts from ¥350 to ¥460, including vanilla ice cream, chocolate cake and tiramisu.
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I came to Japan from Manchester, England in summer 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I`m not working I write satire at www.iothern.blogspot.com and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check my youtube channel `CunningPunster` for a taste.