定 tei – fixed, constant / 食 shoku – food, meal
Most restaurants in Tokyo are hard-coded to satisfy a specific person or group of people, at a specific moment in their existence, with just the right level of satiation, inebriation and conversation.
Yayoi-ken in Kanda is for you, the lone man-at-work who has given up on eating dinner at home.
Order your meal via the touch screen by the entrance. Hand the ticket to the woman in the handkerchief. Don’t forget your change.
Take a seat on either side of the bookmatched counters, separated at eye level by a paper screen and just below by a row of condiments, spaced so you need not reach too far in any direction.
Place your bag on the shelf just below the counter. Personal space is delineated on both sides by a stripe of contrasting rosewood. The floor-bolted seats bend and swivel just enough to avoid knee contact.
Eat quickly, making eye contact only with your breaded cutlet, or the neighboring pickles, if you must. When your plate is clean, swing left and make for the door with a plausible “gochi-sou-sama”.
Now, let’s get on with it.
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