Growing up in her native Japan, chef Masako Morishita would frequently start the day with a savory spread of grilled fish, fermented veggies, soups, and soft omelets all in one sitting. Now she’s bringing the traditional Japanese feast to D.C. as a brand-new Saturday feature inside her essential Adams Morgan restaurant Perry’s.
“Japanese breakfast is one thing I miss the most [from home]. Here we have brunch, but it’s very different,” says Morishita. “Everything is served all at once, so the idea is to try different things at the same time.”
Perry’s kicks off Saturday breakfast service under her watch on October 21. The new meal may become a weekly affair, depending on demand, but is offered every other Saturday for now (the next one is November 4). Reservations are highly encouraged, with service from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (1811 Columbia Road NW).
Delivered on a single tray, each prix fixe set ($42) features a smorgasbord of separately plated dishes like grilled fish (think salmon or miso-cured cod); kobachi (small plates); pickled veggies fermented in rice bran; condiments like homemade furikake; koshihikari rice; and clam miso soup. Rotating kobachi may include an aromatic omelet made with shiso; beef tenderloin, potatoes, and carrot stew; and fried shishito and eggplant swimming in a sweet dashi-soy broth.
“When you eat too much in the morning it’s hard to move and you want to lay back down. This breakfast has energy to get you through the day — it’s balanced and light but also satisfying,” she says.
Japan’s beloved Jidori chicken eggs, known for their deep-orange yolks, are a key ingredient across the menu. Along with a soft-boiled version, add-ons include smoked trout roe and fermented soy bean, which has “a strong smell — it’s really Japanese,” she says.
Perry’s has long been an under-the-radar spot for great sushi, and with Morishita at the helm since last fall, the revitalized restaurant has generated lots of attention for her flavorful nighttime creations like a deep-fried shrimp katsu burger. The sleek, wood-framed restaurant with a strong sake collection continues to host one of D.C.’s best drag brunches on Sundays, and now, some Saturdays are reserved for traditional Japanese breakfast service.
There’s also seven a la carte options ($7-$15) aside from the prix fixe breakfast, including Japanese-style tater tots with a togarashi kick and handhelds like spam musubi and an egg salad sando packed with cream cheese and kewpie mayo. For something on the sweeter side, there’s a Japanese pancake slathered with a homemade berry jam or matcha cheesecake.
“It’s always my goal to introduce some of my culture to people who may not be familiar with it,” she says.
A new crop of cocktails full of Japanese gins and vodkas compliment the Saturday spread without being “too boozy,” she says, joined by Japanese teas, bubbles, and sparkling sake.