You find yourself sitting in an old wooden building, surrounded by strange artifacts. Someone comes by and offers you a menu filled with local specialties. Unsure of what to choose, you let fate decide for you. It is time to face, Nagoya meshi.
Nagoya is a city between Tokyo and Osaka. Both of those latter cities have fans who will claim their favorite has the best food. Nagoya bypasses all that pointless arguing. They simply have a repertoire of amazing local specialties that can rival any city in Japan. Collectively all these foods are know as Nagoya meshi (Nagoya food.) There is a place where you can try just about all that Nagoya meshi has to offer, its name is…
A solid wood fortress made to withstand hundreds of drunk people
The first thing I noticed when entering Gomitori was how pleasant and sturdy it looked. I wanted to hunker down all night drinking and eating until the sun came up. This, I saw was very possible, as their hours were from 5pm to 4am. It was around 7pm on a Tuesday when I arrived. The place was already bustling with people looking to have a great night. After the initial greeting I was led upstairs when I saw…
Indiana Jones would be upset by this, they belong in a museum!
Many cool relics lined the walls, the most valuable were in a glass case in the stairwell. After taking my seat, I was given a menu. Everything looked great. I asked what Nagoya meshi I should try. The staff advised me to try the Tebasaki and the miso kushikatsu. It sounded good to me. I placed my order, plus a couple of beers, and got ready for a good evening.
After waiting for about half a beer the tebasaki arrived. I eagerly picked one up and went to town. The double fried, batter-less wings were light and crispy, while still maintaining a natural chicken taste. A sweet tangy sauce, which was brushed on the wings, was contrasted with black pepper. The taste was a perfect compliment to the beer.
It wasn’t until i looked up, that I saw a disapproving look on my girlfriends face. I knew I did something wrong. Silently she pointed at a series of pictures showing the right way to eat tebasaki.
How to Eat Tebasaki
Instructions and the two items I ordered. Lucky shot
First pull off the wing tip and set aside. Next take a bite all the way at the opposite end of the wing and pull back with your teeth. All the meat should slide off in one go. Finally take the tip and enjoy your final crunchy treat.
Looks can be deceiving, it’s when it’s in your mouth that counts
Another half beer into my meal the miso kushikatsu made its way to the table. At first glance the the kushikatsu wasn’t particularly beautiful. This didn’t really upset me as the smell was enchanting. I saw a dollop of Japanese mustard on the corner of the plate, and figured I’d dip in and take a bite. It was heavenly. The spicy mustard worked well with the miso sauce. Having never had miso sauce before, I was surprised at the taste. It was sweeter than I imagined it would be, but still had an intense umami kick.
It wasn’t long until I had no more food, or beer, and called it a night.
Nagoya Meshi Masters
Gomitori is a pretty great introduction to all that Nagoya meshi has to offer. There are many places that specialize in one or two things, but few that offer up the whole experience. I would love to come back and really have a full night of food and fun.
P.S. They have some really fun songs on their site. I highly recommend you check out their funky beats.
Music: 伍味酉ソング / KING PAPA (Gomitori Song)