Jul 1, 2014
A trip to Nagasaki Prefecture is bound to widen your gourmet horizon. Be sure to give these yummy creations a shot on your visit!
Nagasaki’s most representative dish is a bowl of thick noodles in steaming hot broth, topped with seafood, vegetables and meat. This is a Chinese creation, conjured by Shikairo Chinese restaurant’s founder in 1899 for poor Chinese students studying in Nagasaki looking for a hearty, yet affordable meal. Today, you can also find a cripsy noodle option called Sara Udon. Shikairo still serves up the original champon to scores of tourists and locals daily. A wait for a table may take up to 30 minutes, so be prepared.
A familiar dish within and beyond Japan, the Chawanmushi at Yossou restaurant is backed by over 140 years of experience. It comes in a big bowl filled with Anago (sea eel), shrimp, chicken, black fungus, ginkgo nut, bamboo shoot and fish cake. The steaming hot bowl of custardy goodness can also be enjoy in a set called Fufumushi (which translates to “husband & wife set”), where an identical bowl containing steamed sushi is served alongside for a more filling meal.
After a walk around the samurai town and castle in Shimabara, fill up your belly at Houju a restaurant serving up Guzouni and Gamba Sushi. The former is a soup dish made with a variety of ingredients gathered from the surrounding land and sea, including but not limited to vegetables, mochi, chicken and beancurd. A creation of the Shimabara Rebellion in the 17th century, this dish is as representative of Shimabara as champon is to Nagasaki. Another signature is Gamba Sushi – puffer fish sushi served with sour plum sauce. The sushi has got a firm bite with a delicate flavour, definitely an appetising eat for a summer day!
For an energising meal after a long ride on the road, make a stop at Fukudaya restaurant in Isahaya. The 150 years old restaurant has a unique way of keeping its Kabayaki (grilled unagi eel) tender, which is typical in Isahaya area – after grilling these succulent river eels from the Kyushu region, the chef places them into a porcelain pot with a compartment for hot water. He then covers it up and let the steam soften the unagi. The result? Caramelised unagi that melts in your mouth. Oishii!
In 2012, wagyu beef from Nagasaki won the highest award in the National Wagyu Capacity Livestock Shows. This presented the prefecture with the perfect opportunity to promote its wagyu beef. At Fukudaya ryokan, the Kaiseki Ryori serves up a slab of this tender, finely marbled meat upon a heated plate made from volcanic rock. Every bite of the wagyu fills your mouth with sweet meat juices. The meat is so flavourful, you’ll find it unnecessary to use any sauce.
Fresh seafood For some of the freshest, most reasonably priced seafood, you have to check out Dejima Asaichi. A seafood market in the morning, the place transforms into an eatery in the afternoon where your purchase of freshly caught seafood is served up raw or cooked however you want.
A day trip to Gunkanjima will not be complete without a slice of Castella Ice. An ice cream sandwich made with two slices of Castella, this treat is a fun way to enjoy the indescribably sweet sponge cake. Soft and fluffy with a creamy centre, you might not be able to stop at just one.
American fast food in a Japanese city? Yes, and Log Kit is where you’ll find the Super Burger – a 16cm wide mammoth containing a 100g beef patty, two eggs, two slices of cheese and a 5mm thick bacon! Log Kit sells 800 of it every day.