One in four Japanese love natto

Natto is many a foreigners’ nemesis, but this survey from @nifty into natto and tofu found that many Japanese too find rotton beans foul.

I’ve tried a few times to eat it, but I just can’t cope with the smell; fortunately my wife too hates the stuff! Tofu on the other hand is wonderful! If you want to experience a wide range of tofu cooking, my recommendation is Hakkakuan (branches in various cities) – they have full course tofu with all-you-can-eat freshly-made tofu topped as desired with sour plum-coated sesame or coarse sea salt.

Here’s four cute blocks of tofu:

tofu square [2/365]

Tofu – Japan’s most favourite food?

Do you like tofu? graph of japanese opinionOver a week in the middle of July DIMSDRIVE Research look at that Japanese staple, tofu. They interviewed 4,171 members of their internet monitor group by means of a private questionnaire; 65.0% of the respondents were female, 1.7% in their teens, 18.7% in their twenties, 33.7% in their thirties, 25.3% in their forties, 13.0% in their fifties, and 7.6% aged sixty or older.

Tofu (and soy beans in general) is just about my favourite Japanese food, and I recommend everyone to try a posh tofu restaurant at least once, even if you, like AA Gill of the Times, believe it to be no more than “congealed river scum”. Recently, I’ve not eaten it as much I usually do, although I still have some two to four days a week, it’s abura-age or Koya-dofu, not the plain block tofu.

Also, this weekend I had a wonderful tofu lunch at Seed’s Kitchen in Takarazuka (I should ask them for a discount for this free advert!). As pictured down towards the bottom of that page, it features seven different styles of tofu and rice with black soya beans for just 1200 yen.

Eating out: part 2 of 2

How often do you have special meals out? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2]

goo Research recently conducted a survey to see what people thought about eating out. 2,195 people from the goo Research monitors answered a private internet survey. 48.6% of the sample was male, 18.1% were teenagers, 17.5% were in their twenties, 19.8% in their thirties, 21.5% in their forties, 17.0% in their fifties, 4.6% in their sixties, and 1.6% seventy years old or older.

Since this second half is about discount tokens, I’ll introduce probably about the best English-language discount coupon I know, for Hakkakuan in Daimaru, Osaka. I’ve used it twice, and depending on which staff you get, you get either both of the discounts or have to choose one. Get there just before 5pm and you can get an early dinner at lunchtime prices, including all you can eat silken tofu. Some of the set menus are all vegetarian. Next, whenever you eat out make sure to get a point card from the restaurant if they have one. Many places have such a scheme, and the discounts available amount to usually 5% to 10% off.

Ribs, thighs and tongues: Japan’s favourite grilled items

A cow's edible bits, in JapaneseIn my quest to bring you the rather more obscure and slighly weird surveys of Japanese public opinion, here comes an odd report from DIMSDRIVE Research, who asked 4,551 Japanese of all ages what their favourite meat on a yakiniku (grilled meat) menu was. 44.7% of those who replied to their internet-based questionnaire were male. This survey was carried out last July.

As a vegetarian myself, I have to go for the “None of the above” option. I also must resist saying anything about the fact that so many young Japanese women seem to love nothing more than a bit of tongue. Oh, and if you too want to get away from meat and get some decent tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs, and live in the Kansai area, I hearily recommend “Mame no Hatake” and “Seed’s Kitchen” as semi-organic, semi-veggie eateries. The “Mame no Hatake” buffet, in particular, is quite amazing value, 1,900 yen for a high-quality all-you-can-eat buffet.