Monday, October 27, 2014

Nagi, Golden Gai

Remember what I said about eating 4 meals a day? This was "supper", at Nagi Golden Gai, which is a really really really lovely area of Tokyo! It features very narrow streets with low-rise buildings, the streets being so narrow that you can't drive cars through it. The narrow streets and small buildings feature many bars - almost 300 - that can only seat 4-6 people per bar. Therefore, much of it is down to the interaction between the patron and the bartenders / owners - which makes for a really interesting experience. We went to a bar (Bar Izayoi) and we had a really really lovely chat with the bartender, who spoke really lovely English. She mentioned how she loved the Golden Gai area as it's an area where "people can say no", as opposed to the Japanese culture where people are so scared to say no and where people never say "no" directly. She said that the people in Golden Gai are honest - and if they don't want you to be in their bars, they will say so; which is the way she likes it. 

Well, I'd agree - I definitely liked it there too! It was "warm", as we described it - "warm" and "accomodating". But warm would describe it; there was a genuine honesty and warmth about the place. And apparently she said that all the proprietors are friends and watch out for each other. 

How cool is that?!

And so we went to Ramen Nagi Golden Gai which was why we trekked to Golden Gai in the first place. Up a steep staircase, you go to the 2nd floor and then order before waiting in line downstairs in the cold. 

They specialise in sardine based ramen, which was excellent. Very complex, umami taste. Robust and strong, with grilled sardine flavours, not too "fishy". I liked this quite alot. (8.5/10).

The noodles were the thick kind, which coated the broth well.

A great bowl and a fitting end to a great day. 

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