Friday, December 6, 2013

Nagoya Lunch Passport: Part 2 - Lunches 7-12

Somehow I miraculously split my Lunch Passport adventure in half with my trip to California. Here is the second half of lunches. One thing I noticed as I went along is that I was actually getting better at drawing. I also went into restaurants knowing I was going to sketch, so I looked at things with that in mind, brainstorming the composition of the page as I ate.

Lunch #7 - Mix Ankake Spa @ あんかけ亭 Ankake-tei
This was exactly what I thought it would be. I was quite satisfied actually. Ankake-spa is a bit of an acquired taste. If you go in expecting something remotely Italian, you will be disappointingly shocked. And possibly insulted, depending on how much you hold pasta dear. But I like it for what it is. And for 500 yen, I was stuffed. Even for 740 yen, I would be satisfied. Probably will drop by again some day. The main thing keeping me away is the lack of non-smoking space. But if I don't have anything afterwards, it might not be as much of a problem.

Lunch #8 - Sencha pasta @ ピーストチャ Peace to Cha
This pasta has green tea in the pasta itself. And unlike the abomination that is what you would get at Mountain (a whole nother story). This place is truly a tea cafe. The furniture has a clean feel to it. My favorite were the light fixtures which used tea ceremony tools and the funky wall clock. There are hot water pots in the middle for people to fill up their tea pots for a second serving. The water is self-serve as well and it was really good water. I will definitely be back to try the daily special and enjoy some good tea as well. 

Lunch #9 - Daily Lunch Special - 豫園 Yoen
Went to this Chinese place with an old housemate. I had been meaning to go here on the way to the airport when I went to California, but the timing just didn't work. So I was glad I could make it this time. The portions were pretty damn big for the price. I barely got it all in. It was good and filled up a bit during lunch time. I might go back to try their dim sum.

Lunch #10 -Tsukemen with Egg - 中村屋 Nakamura-ya
A classic salaryman lunch spot. It got full around 12 noon and I was one of a max three females. The flavoring was also geared towards a more middle aged male's taste. For me, it was a bit greasy, but the noodles were awesome. They were three thicknesses. That's just cool. I think I'll try the regular ramen sometime if I happen to be in the area. 

Lunch #11 - Daily Rice Bowl @ CAFE/R
I love the interior of this place and the service was pretty good. The food was pretty decent, the tea was really good for some reason, and the curry smelled fantastic. Despite the rather fancy feel of the cafe, the major customers seems to be salarymen from nearby offices. Unfortunately, that also meant smokers. I don't know if I'll be making my way back here just because it's a bit out of my way. But if I'm in the area, maybe.

Lunch #12 - Pork Curry @ I-10
By far my best sketch. You gotta admit. This place I almost didn't go to. I passed by it and I didn't catch the note on the page that said there wouldn't be a sign. I walked by it three times, smelling the curry, until I finally found the place, but it was empty. The door was unlocked, so I figured they were open, but it was already 30 minutes past the opening time on the page. Turns out it's a wine bar by night and a curry place by day. The owner is a cool guy who seems to be doing all of this at his own pace. The curry was pretty strong, but had a lot of depth to its flavor. Not bad at all. I can see why the regulars come here. 

And thus ends my Nagoya Lunch Passport adventures. Hope you enjoyed the sketches. It's been fun drawing them and learning while I go. Here's to hoping there will be another Lunch Passport soon.. 

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