During my stay in Japan I went to several restaurants and enjoyed Japanese food very much. Only the problem was that I tend to forget taking photos. So these are the only photos I can show you here and the rest of the food just stays in my mind and my stomach. Sorry.
My home town Nagoya became one of the Foodie Capitals (check ‘Nagoya Meshi’) in the last 10 years or so. That was after I started living in the UK so I am not quite sure which food actually belong to this category, however, I can tell you that the biggest of all Nagoya-Meshi is certainly ‘Hitsumabushi’.
It is a grilled eel dish that is served in a wooden pot ‘O-Hitsu’. The Eels are grilled and brushed with sweet and thick soy sauce based ‘Tare’ sauce. They are cut into small pieces and placed on top of steaming hot rice. How to eat this dish comes with the following unique instruction.
- Mix Grilled Eel with rice and take a quarter onto your rice bowl. Enjoy the taste as it is.
- Take another quarter portion onto your bowl and add some condiments such as ‘Wasabi’, ‘Nori’ seaweed and some chopped spring onion etc. Enjoy the mixed flavour and texture.
- Take another quarter onto your bowl and do the same as the second portion but pour Hot Broth over it this time! Enjoy it like ‘O-Chazuke’ (rice with tea) .
- For the remaining portion you choose one method from the above 3 options to repeat the way of eating you enjoyed the most.
I enjoyed the second way of eating the most. The eel was very tender and juicy. It was so tasty that I wanted to keep having more.
Another famous ‘Nagoya Meshi’ is ‘Tebasaki‘ – it is a chicken wing dish that are fried and soaked in a thick sweet tasty ‘Tare’ sauce with some spices. Actually I had a chance to go there TWICE but because I was very excited seeing my friends whom I haven’t seen for many years I completely forgot to take photos. I will report about this dish next time, I promise!
I also went to one of the Tofu specialists. I love Tofu. I wanted to have some good one. Freshly made soft Tofu with some seasoning such as chilli powder served with Buckwheat Tea.
Followed by a set of dishes include Hot Pot of pork, Tofu & vegetable, ‘Namafu Dengaku (Wheat Gluten with Miso sauce)’ & etc, Rice and Miso soup.
When I told all my friends that the latest Big Hit in London is ‘Ramen’ they were so surprised.
And this Ramen is one of the noodle dishes I had there.
Looks cheap? It is never meant to be a luxurious dish. This is the Ultimate(?) Fast Food in Japan. It was the premier Ramen for a limited period of local Fast Ramen chain shop ‘Sugakiya’ that has been loved by local people of Nagoya.
It was served quickly and came with ‘Tonkotsu (pork bone broth)’ base soup with bonito flavour. The noodle itself was springy al dente and came with three lashes of ‘Pork Charshu‘, an egg and ‘Shinachiku (bamboo shoot)’. The raw egg got kind of cooked in a hot soup but you suppose to break the yolk and mix it as a soup, I think. Can you guess the price? It was … ¥390 which is about £2 with the present exchanging rate!
In London all the Ramen costs about £10 or even over and some of them are just average. I have to admit that I had not eaten Sugakiya’s Ramen since I was a child. It is simply because I don’t eat any fast food in my adult life but there is no regret having this Ramen this time. It was very tasty.