[Tokyo] I must admit there was something about the slicing of the wobbly Japanese Omurice at Taimeiken that was oddly satisfying.
Taimeikan is established in 1931, known to be a pioneering Western style Japanese restaurant that specialises in Yoshoku cuisine.
Yoshuku cuisine gained popularity in Japan after 1868 when a ban was lifted by the Meiji emperor.
Western influenced food in the likes of tonkatsu (pork cutlet), spaghetti, cream stews, gratin and hamburg steak became accepted widely by the Japanese.
This restaurant at Nihonbashi, about a 15 minute walk from Tokyo Station, is famous for its Omurice – omelette plus rice.
There are also other items on its menu such as Spaghetti, Deep Fried Pork Loin, Beef Steak, Ramen and Rice dishes, but most tables I observed had that longish omurice somewhere there. (There have been mixed reviews about this restaurant, so am not too sure of its other food.)
Another reason why Taimeiken is so well known. Japanese film “Tampopo” was filmed in its premises, and one of the signature dishes – the Omurice was part of an important scene.
It is no wonder that their version is also called the “Tampopo Omurice”.
The key difference between the “Tampopo Omurice” is that the omelette rests on a bed of fried rice, rather than having the rice being stuffed inside.
They serve both varieties, with the wrapped omurice coming in choices of the basic (¥1700), Beef (¥1950), and Prawn (¥1950).
Add the Taimeiken specialty sides of Borsch soup and Coleslaw, both sold at ¥50 – a price they kept since the beginning days of the restaurant.
After coming all the way here, and waiting in line for about half hour (considered short as I came during the tail-end of lunch), I just had to order both the Tampopo Omurice (¥1950) and Tampopo Beef Omurice (¥2650). It was considered relatively expensive for a SGD$33 rice.
The excitement came when the bright yellow egg was served on your table, hands holding a fork and knife wondering which direction you should go.
Then, it just happened.
SLICE, OPEN, FLOW.
The hidden surprise. It was like the omelette was pregnant with wet and fluffy scrambled egg. I am a sucker for such things.
The fried rice at the bottom was delightful as well, and there was something about their sweetish ketchup that made the overall combination delightful.
I preferred this to the beef version, only because the amount of heavy demi-glace sauce distracted me from the goodness and softness of the egg.
Just so you know, “Tampopo” means dandelion, and therefore the action of cutting it open is like a flower blooming.
1-12-10 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Nihonbashi Station – Asakusa, Tozai, Hibiya lines, Exit C5)
Opening hours: 11:00am – 9:00pm Last Order 8:30pm (Mon-Sat),
11:00am – 8.30pm, Last Order 8:00pm (Sun & PH)
Google Maps – Taimeiken