Always dreamt of eating your fill on a trip to Japan, but wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to ordering?
Wagamama executive chef Steve Mangleshot shares his top 5 foodie dishes to chow on during a trip to Tokyo:
“Always a must on any trip to Tokyo is the katsu. Fried chicken, rice and curry sauce – that’s it, but a must is to try the sauce at grade 10. You need to try it as hot as possible as they grade the sauce – they only let me have 7 before I was allowed to try the 10! A lot of mystique around the heat and it’s great fun.”
“Try ramen of all varieties from the different provinces, [which use] different stocks throughout. With all the ramens they have different types which are shio – salty, shoyu – soy based, or a miso version. The best way to experience all of these are at the ramen museum in Yokohama where you can try all the ramens under one roof.”
“You must try the sushi, especially the great fatty tuna belly which is amongst some of the best I have ever eaten. The flavour of really fresh tuna is not overly fishy and literally melts in the mouth like butter.”
4. Yaki soba
“Don’t miss yaki soba out of little street food vans, with a fried egg served on top to make it even richer. With great soba noodles and loads of soy, it’s always made to order with lots of care, and combined with pickled ginger and sesame, makes for a taste explosion.”
“Finally, an okonomiyaki, which, without doubt, is the best omelette/pancake. There are two different types – with or without noodles – depending on where you come from. You get the soft texture of the okonomiyaki and the slight bite of noodles or cabbage, finished with a creamy Japanese mayonnaise and a sweet okonomiyaki sauce, which is like Worcester sauce but thicker and a bit sweeter.”
While you’re there, make sure to visit Tsukiji fish market…
“Without doubt, visit the Tsukiji fish Market and watch a whole tuna being cut up and try the belly fat tuna. The vast size of the market is extraordinary and the fact I also got to try sea urchin and sweet water prawns was amazing.
“The sheer amount of fish they have going through the market is staggering; when I went I had stunning ramen outside where the guy literally made just one type and the queue was around the block. The flavours from the ramen were amazing, with perfectly cooked noodles that had a slight bite to them and the most tender piece of pork with a great soy-based broth that seem to get better in flavour the further down the bowl I went.”
Wagamama celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. For more information about your nearest restaurant, visit www.wagamama.com