Literally located on the second floor of the famous Kanematsu vegetable shop at Nishiki market, Yaoya no Nikai only serves one set lunch everyday. Going by the name of 長寿ランチ (chouju ranchi, lit. longevity set lunch), it features seasonal gourmet vegetables. If you can read Japanese, you can find out the ingredients used for the day from the small slip of paper placed on each table. I still have it with me for reference.
Longevity Set Lunch ¥2,100 (~S$26.95)
The set lunch wasn't only delicious, but also undoubtedly helped in cleansing my body. My favourite dish of the day was the one in the middle, comprising oh-so-sweet-and-tender onions, asparagus stalks and katsuobushi (Japanese dried bonito flakes). The beancurd dish had a mild flavour, and it was a delight to slurp down the broth at the end of the meal. The flavoured rice, cooked with bamboo shoots, was nicely warm and sticky. Another thing to point out is the miso (Japanese fermented rice, barley and/or soybean) soup with thinly sliced daikon (Japanese radish), which was comforting and not overly packed with flavours that would otherwise shield the tongue from the goodness of the vegetables.
Black Soybean Custard Pudding (Set Menu)
Two dessert items were on the list, but unfortunately, one of them was out of stock. Anyway, the custard pudding was pretty velvety and adequately sweet, although it could be a tad creamier. I wouldn't have minded if it was slightly sweeter either. There wasn't any black soybean in the custard mixture though, only one piece sat nicely on top of it.
Taste: 8.5/10Ambience: 7.5/10
The humble restaurant apparently has appeared in the travel section of the New York Times before. It warrants a second visit for sure, and I'd definitely love to go back to that market which houses more than a hundred stalls offering a myriad of culinary delights. Pika's advice: Bringing your children along? The restaurant offers Kid's Meal for only ¥500 (~S$6.30)!
Yaoya no Nikai
2F Kanematsu Vegetable Shop
(Mon-Thu: 11.00am - 10.30pm; Fri-Sun: 11.00am - 11.00pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,Cliff(y)