My blog whilst I'm in Japan, 17th to 29th July, 2006, and hopefully sometime thereafter.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An evening in Nagoya

I went to an out-of-the-way Rough Guide recommendation for food, but they had a wedding party on. Tired, I walked into the next restaurant I came to. It was an okonomoni-yaki restaurant ("eat what you like"). The only one I know of outside of Japan is Abeno on Museum Street in London; it is my favourite restaurant in the UK (although LMNT's in Hackney is a close second). Abeno claims to be the only okonomoni-yaki restaurant in Europe; Japanese are very surprised to hear there's one in London, so maybe it is.

The food is cabbage omelette with various meat and fish, cooked on hotplate built into the table. At the basic okonomoni-yaki restaurants, the diners cook the food themselves. At this place they do it for you, but there were no pictures and no English, just kanji.

After a while, the guy from the previous restaurant came in and invited me over. Afterwards, he invited me to his bar and then took me in a taxi to a club and left me there. iD Café - it's not a caf
é, and it won't get into iD magazine, but I did have to show my passport to get in (do I look under twenty?) and they served aisu koohii. Clientele was a mixture of Japanese, Brazilian, ex-pats and tourists. (Nagoya seems to have a significant Brazilian contingent, most signs had English and Portuguese translations.) 5F (i.e. fourth floor in old money) was bland house, 4F was crass soul, 3F was cheap hip-hop, 2F and 1F sounded good compared to the above, until I realised that Ibiza house only sounds good when compared to worse trash. B1F was popular 70s and disco and tolerable for a while. Finally, B2F was where it was at - reggae; but I was too jaded by then ;-).

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