Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

5 Must Eat Dishes in Nagoya

By Saturday, October 10, 2015 , , , , ,

Japan is one of my favorite destinations and i think it's quite perfect for a foodie because every region/prefecture has its own specialties and they have such great seasonal produce as well and therefore it never gets boring even with repeated visits. On my last visit, we stopped by Nagoya (well SQ flies direct) and it being a short transit before we make our way to the slopes, i made sure we covered most of the must eats. So here is my list! 
HITSUMABUSHI- Broiled Eel Rice Bowl 
There is the regular unagi, and then there's the Nagoya unagi. Nagoya is the country's largest producer of fresh water eel (unagi), which is slit open along the belly, grilled without steaming, slathered in a rich, dark sauce, and served over rice. I'm not going into the whole Tokyo v.s. Nagoya unagi but anyhow this is damn delicious. 

There's no better place to try the eel other than at Atsuta Horaiken, an unagi institution founded in 1873. They trademarked their method the Hitsumabushi, which sees the eel being served in a traditional wooden tub accompanied by a rice bowl, a plate of condiments and chazuke (broth).
The Hitsumabushi method splits the serving of eel into four portions. Portion 1- have it the original way to savor the smokiness of the eel with sweet soy. Portion 2- have it with the sides of spring onions, nori, a touch of wasabi. Portion 3- add on the ocha to Portion 2 to make a chazuke. Portion 4- eat as you like it. I liked the condiments with my unagi, and the chazuke style was really yummy too. 
For ¥3600, the Hitsumabushi is a tad pricy but it was too darn good really. The portion is massive but nobody shared their bowl. There are other unagi sets which are slightly cheaper but you don't get as huge a portion of unagi. Make sure you try the Umaki (eel in omelette) as well! It's super darn good.

3-16-1, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Matsuzakaya Nagoya Shopping Center South Building 10F  (go to this one as it is slightly less crowded i think. Yabaton is on the same level!)

Jingu 2-10-26, Atsuta-ku 名古屋市熱田区神宮2-10-26
MISO KATSU- Fried Pork Cutlet in Miso Sauce
Nagoya is crazy about miso and i love them for that. They can put miso in everything and i'll eat it up. For some delicious Miso Katsu (fried pork cutlet), join the queue at Yabaton, a Nagoya franchise established in 1947. A thick cut breaded piece of juicy Southern Kyushu pork is drenched with a thick Aka Miso (fermented red soybean paste) sauce, thickened with broth and seasoning for that super umami flavor. It tastes familiarly of the red chee cheong fun sauce (Singaporeans and Malaysians would know what i mean) but the enhanced version. Don't be greedy. Each portion can feed 2 easily.

Yabaton (みそかつ 矢場とん )
3-6-18 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya

Kill 2 birds with one stone by eating the Cochin Chicken Miso-Nikomi Udon at Yamamotoya Honten, one of the best known restaurants hawking this flat chewy udon noodle cooked in a miso-bonito stock dish (yes miso again!) The cochin chicken is kinda chewier, leaner and richer in flavor than the regular chicken. I think it's the Japanese version of the Malaysian Kampong chicken, or wild/free range chicken. It's a prized meat that even the Japanese don't have this often. We weren't that impressed with the meat but i would have that udon anytime. Perhaps a better way is to enjoy the meat would be the yakitori style. For that, you may want to check out Kinboshi.  

Yamamotoya Honten
Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Sakae 4-1-1, Chunichi Bldg B2F. (Underground arcade at Sakae subway station)
4-3-25 Meieki Minami, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken; 052-541-3050.
TEBASAKI- Chicken Wings
Who can resist deep fried chicken wings? Tebasaki is so famous in Nagoya, it's one of those gifts that Japanese will take home when they visit Nagoya. #SRSLY Well head on over to Yamachan for crispy wingtips that are seasoned first and then fried without batter (they double fry it for extra crispiness), and then basted with sauce on both sides while being turned, seasoned with salt and pepper, and coated with white sesame seeds. This is perfect bar grub for ¥400 (for 5 wings). You can also get miso-katsu at Yamachan but don't miss the tebasaki. 
Yamachan 世界の山ちゃん
Many locations around Nagoya. There's one right at Nagoya Station.

TENMUSU- Tempura Rice Balls
Rice balls are done a little differently in Nagoya and they prefer some fried shrimp tempura in their rice instead. The Nagoya people treat this like an art, focusing on how well they wrap the tenmusu. First timers may find it a little bland as the rice is not seasoned, and so it's all left to the shrimp and nori to give the snack its flavor. This is simple take away food really and rather convenient to eat. Since i've never seen these anywhere else in Japan, I got some of these for my train ride to Gero Onsen.

Jiraiya (地雷也)
1-739 Tokugawa, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Senju - Nagoya-Famous Temmusu (めいぶつ天むす 千寿)
4-10-82 Osu,Naka-ku, Nagoya

Well, there isn't a specific specialty dessert in Nagoya i think so i'm just throwing this in for good measure. I fell in love with Sadaharu Aoki's macarons after tasting them in Nagoya. I would say that this is the best Asian substitute for Pierre Herme (sadly none in Nagoya. i checked.) Love the shells, the light sweetness, and intense flavors. Very nicely done. If you can't get PH, SA is yums.

JR Nagoya Takashimaya B1F
1 Chome Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi
So that's my 5 Must Eat dishes in Nagoya Japan. What's your top 5 list? 

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