If you were to express the phrase “Why the heck not?” in the form of food, this might be it.
While in-town getting his custom candy made, Mr. Sato spent time getting to know the fine city of Nagoya. One of his stops was the Osu shopping area — a bustling marketplace of bargains and the occasional oddity to behold.
As Mr. Sato walked along the store-lined pathway he noticed a small crowd standing in front of Bansho Temple. Assuming something was about to go down, he joined the group and stared at the animated display above the temples entrance featuring tranquil scenes of gliding fish and dragons.
It was all very relaxing, when suddenly…
Water began gushing from a large statue of dragons. Mr. Sato had no idea what the purpose or meaning of this was, but it was pretty awe inspiring. He also overheard that the temple had a mechanized doll of Oda Nobunaga that moves once every two hours.
However, before he could check that out, something more bizarre caught his attention.
A fried chicken stand called Maruyoshi was advertising a very unique product. Going by the name Ogura Cream Kara-age, it’s three/six pieces of fried chicken topped with whipped cream, a frozen strawberry, and a Nagoya specialy: Ogura-an.
Ogura-an is a sweet bean paste said to be widely eaten in this city, especially on toast. But is Nagoya’s love of ogura-an so obsessive that they would dare put it on fried chicken?!
Mr. Sato truly did not know what to expect with this cacophony of foods, but thought to himself, “It has to taste good. Why else would they sell it?”
So he girded his fundoshi and placed an order. Shortly after, his fresh cup of Ogura Cream Kara-age was in his hand.
The menu’s picture showing clumps of cream and bean paste on the chicken was no exaggeration. The toppings were plentiful to the point of great concern for Mr. Sato.
After diving in for his first bite, Mr. Sato was pleasantly surprised. This seemingly odd combination actually fit together quite well. The salty soy-sauce flavor of the chicken was nicely accentuated by the smooth sweetness of the beans and cream, and all was punctuated with the sharp taste of the strawberry.
After thinking about it a bit, it did make sense to Mr. Sato. He’d made chocolate covered fried chicken himself once before, and although that was a bit of a disaster, it did have promise.
Maruyoshi’s unique offering simply confirmed that sweet and salty together is an awesome force in the hands of a professional.
Kara-age specialist Maruyoshi / から揚げ専門店 まる芳
Address: Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City, Chuo Ward, Osu 3-20-14
Open: 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]