Japan. Home of the super city and top living standards. It’s easy to believe that the cost of living in one of the many metropolises is high. In terms of food, while you can go out and pay a lot of money for a special dish, it is fairly easy to eat out for under ¥1000, although in some cases it does require adjustment to a Japanese diet. Here is a breakdown of some of the more interesting yet affordable dishes you can enjoy in Nagoya.
A vending machine restaurant of a slightly higher class. Choose your dish, hand over your ticket and await your food, but with an environment that is more relaxed than most chain-store counter restaurants. The decor is nicer, and the background music more refined. The salary men are not the majority and as a restaurant it is very family friendly. The food is distinctly Japanese in taste and presentation.
One great dish to try is the Chicken Nanban at ¥680. Invented in Miyazaki prefecture, it is considered true Japanese soul food. A cut of chicken, deep-fried and then marinated in a sweet-sour vinegar, and topped with a dollop of Japanese style tartar sauce. Served on a finely chopped salad of cabbage, carrots and onions, the set also includes a soup, cold tofu and even bottomless rice if you’re not quite satisfied. For a couple of hundred ¥ more, you can add fried shrimp to the dish.
Website : http://www.yayoiken.com/
Around the corner from Yayoiken there is a great backstreet Monjayaki restaurant. The tight space with the heat of the hot grills; the lively staff in traditional clothing; and the boss shouting out orders aggressively, all make for an interesting atmosphere. The food is also fantastic.
It doesn’t look the most appetizing of dishes, but it tastes great. Monjayaki is softer than Okonomiyaki, and when cooked it is more of a batter than a pancake. There are a number of ingredients available to mix into your batter, typically the wide range of vegetables, meat and seafood we are used to seeing in Japanese restaurants. The mix is then spread around on a teppan grill before your eyes and, when cooked, eaten from the grill using small spatulas, making it especially enjoyable for groups.
Website : http://kimuraya-monjya.com/
Within the labyrinth that is Osu (home of vintage stores, cafes and all sorts of wonders), there are many culinary adventures to be had, and it can be hard to even choose where to eat. There is often no need to poke your head in to a restaurant considering the street food on offer there.
In Japan the best deals can be found at lunchtime, and this is the case at Hashimoto, primarily a steak house. Atmosphere-wise, it is a very intimate and high class vibe for the price you pay. There are only around 10 seats and you watch the chef cook the steak in front of you. For ¥1000 exactly you can eat a huge steak with rice, noodles, salad and soup. There are varying sets depending on what you want to eat with your steak. They also serve some special looking eel dishes.
Website : http://steak-hashimoto.com/
The place where you watch the chickens cook on a spit. A great place to eat and take in the vibes. The place has a very distinct and laid back atmosphere. You can eat inside, or outside on the plastic chairs amongst the people walking by. Serving super burgers for around ¥500, it’s perfect for a quick fill. Alternatively, a deliciously seasoned whole chicken can be purchased at ¥1500. They are great for sharing, and this way the meal comes in at under ¥1000. Wash it down with an exotic carbonated drink, and take some wet tissues because your hands will get messy.
Website : http://www.osu.co.jp/
Curry and rice is a staple of home-style cooking in Japan. Talk to the locals and everyone will tell you of their unique way to cook it: without water, with coffee, with chocolate. There are many curry restaurants, but Syachi Ichi offers a delicious set with fresh vegetables, served on a piping hot bowl of special curry sauce.
Website : http://www.syachi-ichi.com/
The area around Takaoka station is brimming with small and interesting restaurants, as well as independent boutiques and fancy bars. The name means coriander, an important ingredient in Thai cooking. Affordable and fun, this restaurant offers a wide choice of dishes. Pad Thai, green curry with rice—both of these dishes come in at under ¥1000. The Thai style spring rolls with sweet chili sauce are one of the many great side dishes offered too. The staff are friendly and the restaurant is very popular throughout the week. The owners have tried to emulate a street food environment, with food carts and plastic seating.
Early Birds Breakfast
Sometimes all you need in the morning is a full cooked breakfast. Eggs, bacon, hash brown, toast. This cool cafe provides a number of well-presented breakfast options for under ¥1000.
Website : http://earlybirds-bf.com/
This Hawaiian style restaurant offers a choice of meats, with rice and four sides with their mixed plate set. The taste is impressive, and if you choose takeout you can enjoy your food while people watching in nearby Shirakawa park.
Website : http://www.yummy-bbq.com/