I found a new soup restaurant in the underground commerse area of Kyoto Station: Soup Stock Tokyo.
They serve various kinds of western style soup with rice or bread.
You can have curry and rice, too.
I had beef stew, lobster soup and bread.
I love “Ochazuke” .
While “Ocha” is for tea, “zuke” comes from the verb “tsukeru”, which means “to immerse, to soak”.
So “Ochazuke” is hot-tea-poured rice. It looks like the picture as follows.
But actually, this is not a “Ochazuke”. This is “Dashichazuke”.
What’s the difference?
Dashichazuke uses “dashi” — the basic soup, instead of tea.
Dashi is made of dried fish and dried kelps.
It is very important in Japanese traditional cooking and used in many kinds of foods.
I found a brand-new dashichazuke restaurant in the underground shopping area of Kyoto Station.
I learned it is one of dozens of the same chain restaurants.
Anyway, I enjoyed today’s lunch.
American fast foods such as McDonald’s or Kentuckey Fried Chicken are popular in Japan, but we have our own fast foods, too.
Typical Japanese fast foods are ‘donburi'(same as ‘don’, means bowl), udon(wheat noodle), soba(buck wheat noodle).
‘Nakau’ is one of the most successful don chain restaurants in Japan, along with ‘Yoshinoya’ and ‘Sukiya’.
At ‘Nakau’, you can have many kind of dons, including beef don –their main product.
Today, I had ‘Oyako-don(parent-and-kid don)’ and small udon.
‘Parent-and-kid don’ uses chicken and egg.
‘Tanin-don(strangers don)’ uses beef and egg.
An egg is a kid of a chicken, but cows and chickens are strangers each other.
Funny naming, isn’t it?
Night street view from inside the shop makes me feel a little bit lonely.
I hear that “STADON” is a pork bowl chain restaurants that is popular in Kanto area, or the eastern Japan.
Today’s dinner is at a Kyoto branch of Stadon.
Raw egg may be scary for some westerners, but it is popular in this country.
Egg is serverd separately, so you don’t need to put it in the bowl if you hate it.
This morning, I had a business meeting at a teahouse in the Isetan Kyoto Department Store, which is directly connected to the Kyoto Station Building.
This teahouse, MaleBlanche is run by a famous pattisserie(sweets speciality shop) of the same name in the northern district of Kyoto City.
The cake I had was excellent!
But can you just imagine three middle-aged guys are having tea raising their pinkies up in a noble teahouse?
That makes me smile.
Another happy day is expected.
Today’s dinner is Japanese style curry and rice at Coco Ichibankan.
Curry and rice became popular in Japan since it was adopted in the Emperial Navy’s menu, in early 20th century.
Curry, not only stays good for days, but also contains a lot of vitame B1.
So it has preventive effect against beriberi disease, that was raging in the navy.
Soldiers back home missed curry and taught their wives how to cook it.
In the early stage, Japanese curry powder market was monopolized in fact by C & B co.Ltd, a British company.
But in 1923, a domestic company(current S & B Foods) first succeeded in manufacturing quality curry powder.
It was the dawn of Japanese style curry.
In the past over a century of history, this spicy food originated in India has so deeply permeated in Japanese eating habits.
And starting from the British style, we have developped our own style with rich variation.
These days, you can have curry everywhere in Japan.
Majority of coffee shops and restaurants has curry on their menu list.
There are many speciality chain shops, too.
Coco-Ichi (an abbriviation for Coco Ichibankan) is one of the most successful curry chains.
I had dinner at one of its over 1,400 shops. (photo below)
Few foreigners know how curry rice is popular in Japan.
It is one of standard foods of Japanese domestic cuisine, and mothers usually cook curry more often than once a month for their kids.
There are many curry speciality restaurants in towns.
Almost every coffee shop has curry on its menu, unless it is one that serves only drinks.
Japanese standard curry is British style, but Indian style restaurants are also popular these days.
Most Indian style curry shops are run by Indians or Nepalis.
The photo below is Mutton Masala and plain Nan of ‘Taj Mahal Everest’, a Nepali-Indian restaurant in the northern district of Kyoto City.
This agreeable Nepali cook is a hard worker, and he hands out flyers at the nearby subway station when he does not work in the kitchen.
Inside the restaurant, you will see signs of language cocktail, — Hindi, Nepali, English and Japanese.
‘Taj Mahal Everest’ is located in a quiet residential area near Kitayama Street.
In the United States, the best hamburgers are found only in unsung small restaurants, and never in big chains like McDonald’s.
This law is true in Japan, too.
‘The Burger Company’ is situated in Kitayama district of Kyoto City, a tranquil residential area.
Here you can have quality burgers with rich juicy meat and good bread.
In Japan, root beer is not popular like Coke or giger ale.
Only a few Restaurants and cafes have root beers on their menus.
But, here you can order Dr. Pepper and A/W.
Today, my dinner is pepper burger and Dr. Pepper.
You can see the kitchen right beyond the counter.
When you get a little tired of unfamiliar Japanese food,. you should visit this place.
Takoyaki(octopus dumpling) is local fast food especially popular in western Japan.
It is roasted flour cake balls with octopus meat inside, served usually with Worcester sauce, mayonnaise, dried bonito shavings and dried sea weed powder.
Most Takoyaki places are pap-mom shops, but there are some exceptions.
The photo below is a shop of Tsukiji Gindako, one of leading Takoyaki chain restaurants.
You can see their kitchen from the street.
This must be something new and fun for foreigners.
Today’s lunch is at Osho, .one of the most successful Chinese-style chain restaurants in Japan.
Chinese cuisine is very popular among Japanese, and you will find several restaurants even in the smallest town.
On such firm demand, Osho has established its success with more than 700 shops deployed all over Japan.
Here at Osho, the price is reasonable and the quality of foods is very good for the price.
The most popular menu is Gyoza(picture below), roasted dumplings, and you never can beat it!
Osho is worthy of its brand name that means the king piece of Shougi, or Japanese chess.
Anyway, I am satisfied with tasty gyoza of full garlic flavor.