Quickly now, what comes to your mind when you hear the words French Cuisine?
For me, fine dining, regional, and an assortment of French translations for common ingredients that are clearly the fading remnants of my eight plus years of childhood education in the language come rushing out at me.
Now do the same for say, Italian or Chinese. I’m sure strong images pop into your mind, mainly of the favorable variety, including some great dishes or full meals you’ve had associated with the countries from which they came.
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As a history buff who is fascinated by all things old and the stories behind them, my interest in learning and discovering places to eat that have an established link to an ancient or significant past is very strong…
Previously on Foodosophy, I’d reported on a centuries-old establishment that specialized in Dojo fish (Japanese Loach). But today, I thought I’d even go back a bit further in time and tell the story about an even older establishment, which is behind the birth of the oyakodon (the Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl dish). Literally translated, oya means “parent”, and ko means child. Chicken and egg… hope you get the reference.
Since 1760, the Yamada family has been involved with Tamahide. Inside their restaurant located in the Ningyocho district of old Tokyo, they proudly display a photograph from that earlier time, showing the structure that housed the restaurant from its humble beginnings (when it began holding a designated role related to the food slaughtering and preparation of chicken for the ruling Shogunate of the era through three generations of the family) through to it operating as a restaurant featuring Shamo breed chicken nabe (one pot dish).
They still serve the shamo nabe in various courses and still is probably the best way to enjoy this breed of Japanese chicken through various forms of preparation and cooking methods, although the oyakodon is definitely the less expensive option here, and just as well known.