Monday, January 10, 2011

Meeting Ginger-san

Jumping to my second day in Tokyo...

So after some emailing back and forth I was super excited to have a chance to actually meet Ginger-san from (a blog solely dedicated to low brow eateries that serve Ginger Pork dishes). Ginger-san and his very close recently TV debuted friend EatNapo of Naporitan X Naporitan seems to all but dominate any nostalgic-yoshoku google queries in Japan. I later found out they get up to 5,000 hits per day per blog so this would be no surprise.

Still my attraction towards both blogs (my first ramblings on them here) was because of their obvious love to small, humble, oftentimes dusty, may-about-to-be-forgotten privately owned eateries that are scattered about Tokyo's Shitamachi. Their passion to me was apparent it went well beyond the actual meal served but which valued also:

- the shop's mysteriously vague but simultaneously definite sense of history within the area..
- the interior and exterior architecture (if you can call it that)..
- the warm (and/or sometimes more often eccentric) people who run it..
- the vibe/atmosphere..
the Aura. (haha)

I immediately felt I had finally found my kin.

Ginger-san: "That's so great I was able to meet you here in Takadanobaba.. I've been wanting to try this place for a while and knew you would appreciate it.."
Me: "Let's go!!"

Chuka Soba Taakii (Turkey). The aura was indeed a strong force.
Inside was just as intensely Showa as the exterior. Ginger-san obviously got something pork-ginger, in this case the Shogayaki-don bowl.. came with a side of miso soup, some pickles.

I, feeling I should get a donburi as well went for the Mabo-don.. came with a side of chuka soup. If Showa Nostalgic Chuka had a flavor, by darn it, this soup would've been it. Essentially a slightly thinned out version of the house's shoyu ramen broth with some scallions. The mabo was mild and reminded me very much of what I had at Umemura. The Japanese gyozas later fried up for another customer smelled great.

The Shogayaki-don? You'll have to read Ginger-san's post here to find out. :)

Later we also stopped by a Kissaten, or Japanese styled coffee shop called Budoya ("Grape House"?). Finding parking in these parts would prove to be always the hardest.

The interior was amazing, cladded with burgundy colored plush etched velour and fancy laced curtains with grape vine motifs.

We both had coffees and talked many more about our blog subjects eccentricities equating to attraction. Later I then couldn't resist and had to order the house Naporitan.

The Japanese Yukijirushi brand powdered cheese was offered here which according to Ginger-san was a rare one-out-of-ten ratio compared to the more popular green tubed stuff. This red tube was much less salty and creamier in flavor and I think went much better with the invented Japanese Naporitan pasta dish. Makes sense.

The tiny kitchen's burners wouldn't be able to make the high BTU's of others so it was a bit on the wet side but the flavor we agreed was very nice. The half boiled egg topping according to the experts who have consumed at least a thousand were a first ever. This experience may have been close to a scientist discovering a new sub-species of an insect in the Amazon rainforest. Seriously.

Ginger-san's car was of course a metallic brown ginger colored. You rock Ginger-san! I hope you and your family will get to visit San Diego one day. I'd know just the place to take you! :)
Thanks so much for the great experience. See you again soon!


OkiHwn said...

Ginger-san's place looks so interesting!!!

K and S said...

so cool meeting up with fellow bloggers!

Ginger said...

Thanks again for your visit!

Many TYO nostaligic blogger asked me about you and your next visit. So,I've alreay started to have a plan for next your coming with Eatnapo♪
We hope seeing you soon!!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Nate, they're usually quite the gems.. ;)

Hi K&S, it was! Hope to have a quick vacay to Hawaii one of these days.. And of course Osaka!!

Hi Ginger-san, that's great to hear, and I'm looking so very forward! Hope to visit Japan again soon.... Wishing you and your family a great year!

Michael said...

What an adventure you had my friend.
thanks for sharing it with us.

klimt said...

I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.
I have added your site to my site.
Please link my site to your site.
Thank you!

Dennis K. said...

Thanks so much Michael, always enjoy your blog too..

Hi Klimt, good luck with your blog. Looks great so far. Take care.

Anonymous said...

What a small world!!
I was growing up in Tokyo and lived in there for a long time.
"Chuka Soba Taakii" was very close to my ex-home.
I saw google map Japan tonight. The neighborhood has changed.
So, before "Chuka Soba Taakii", was fish shop. A meat store and a vegitable store were left next to the Taakii that was
long time ago. When I was childhood, I always played with my friends who lived just right next two houses to Taakii.
It feels like stand by me!!