Lunch @ Naniwaya Cafe 浪花家総 (Tokyo, Japan)

December 17, 2016 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Opened in 1909, Naniwaya came up top when I was doing my research for taiyaki (fish-shaped cake with red bean filling). And yes, I especially love it when the shop has a long history to it. Keke.

It was a Thursday morning I chose to explore Azabu-juban area. My original plan was to drop by Naniwaya for their taiyaki after my breakfast at another cafe. But, I got greedy. Ha. I ended having lunch just 10 minutes after finishing breakfast.

A 10 minutes walk from exit 7 of Azabu-juban metro station, I entered the shop and was greeted by a staff who took my order by scribbling on a piece of paper. Was told to wait by taking a seat at one of the many stools placed near the entrance. And it was during my wait that I saw newspaper clippings and magazine articles of their taiyaki and chow mein noodle proudly placed at the counter. I decided to dine in since my itinerary was heavy on sushi and tempura. And for dine in, I was led to the back.

And from the food menu (pages 1, 2), I ordered:-

1) Chow mein noodle, ¥500 (small) (above) – 2 sizes are available. But of course, I chose small over big (¥600). It being my first chow mein noodle, I didn’t really know what to expect. Cooked by who-I-suspect-is-the-daughter, this was a little burnt.

2) Taiyaki, ¥180 (above) – And for dine in, the taiyaki was served on a bamboo tray. And this was really good. Sweet (but not overwhelmingly sweet) red bean paste within warm and crispy dough. And I read that the red beans were cooked for eight hours. A must try.

3) Kakigori, ¥1000 (above) – Shaved ice with mochi (rice cake) and red bean filling. And one shouldn’t think there’s only 2 mochi. As I was dining alone, I held thought of just eating half of it. But just as I was about to stop, I found another layer of red bean in the middle with more mochi hidden at the bottom. A total of 6 mochi! So yes, I ended up finishing everything cause I really liked the mochi and red bean paste. Not surprising about the latter since Naniwaya is (more) famous for their taiyaki. Don’t expect much on the shaved ice; It wasn’t shaved as fine for the ice to melt immediately in the mouth.

I left the shop at 12.35pm after a 1-hour long lunch. And as I was making my exit, I overheard the staff telling a pair of tourists that they had to wait 1 hour for the taiyaki even though there wasn’t a visible long queue. Reason being, the shop took many orders through the phone too. So yes, they were really very busy. It was non-stop making of these taiyaki.

So I guess if one is coming for their taiyaki, try to come earlier. Or perhaps, call first? But one thing for sure is that I would definitely return for their taiyaki in my return trips to Tokyo!

1-8-14 Azabujuban, Minato, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 港区 麻布十番 1-8-14)
+81 3 3583 4975, Tablelog
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon, Wed – Sun: 10:00 – 20:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
Service: 6
* Closed on Tues, 3rd Wed of every month