1. Fruits au lait (フルーツオ・レ)
Do you like tropical fruit juice?
Do you like milk?
How about tropical fruit juice AND milk???
Please Japan. Stop.
2. Hanton rice (ハントンライス)
Another example of a Japanese take on western cuisine – a local specialty in Kanazawa (金沢). It’s actually a combination of omurice (fried, tomato seasoned rice, wrapped in a slightly runny omelette), topped with ketchup, tartare sauce, and in this case a couple of deep fried prawns and deep fried chunks of fish.
As with omurice, it manages to tow the line spectacularly between gross and pleasant. Definitely more enjoyable than omurice, though missing the tasty demi-glace sauce seen in some omurice varieties.
3. Yuzu chuu-hai (ゆず酎ハイ)
Managed to accidentally order this at a restaurant, and it was really good (and quite strong alcohol-wise!). For notes, ‘yuzu’ is a citrus fruit of Chinese origin, but is used widely in Japanese cooking; and ‘chuu-hai’ is basically any long, or ‘highball’ (where the ‘hai’ comes from) drink made with strong Japanese liquor or ‘shōchū’ (where the ‘chuu’) comes from.
4. Squid sashimi (イカ刺身)
A whole damn squid for about £5?!?! Man I loved Kanazawa.
5. Chick Daifuku (ひよこ庵)
This was great, combining traditional Japanese Daifuku (mochi stuffed with sweetened bean paste) with a sweeter taste and a cute design. Yum.
Also I talked a little while with the guy that ran the store, turns out that a) he worked in a Japanese sweets shop or ‘wagashi-ya’ (和菓子屋) from a young age b)he studied european flavours + confectionery-making in Italy for 5 years and c) he runs this store in Takayama 高山 by himself. All of that plus he was really cool.
Bonus. Chewing gum (ガム)
Because everything needs to be a promotional item (not complaining here!)