Adam and I decided on Saturday night that we’d like to check out some of the smaller more local eateries. I must say that we were well rewarded for our efforts. The restaurant we entered, to the best of my knowledge, is simply called Yuu-chan. It had a whopping total of ten seats, a tall bar behind which the owner cooked, and a t.v. The t.v. of course was the main focal point since Hiroshima’s beloved baseball team, the Carp, were playing.
At first, we simply bellied up and ordered. There were plenty of things that I could have ordered, but I really only could read about half of them. It’s really lame, but we decided on some fried fish bites and fries. Yes I do realize that going into a Japanese bar and ordering fish and chips is a bit silly, but they were really good.
We mowed through those and our drinks. Adam suggested paying and wandering back to our combini for some ice cream. I wasn’t super full yet, so I suggested we order one last thing. I’m really glad that we did because, along with our order of tonkatsu (breaded fried pork), we were treated to the presence of a newcomer we would later know as Takeshi.
Takeshi walked in with the swagger of someone who belonged in the tiny room and on a regular basis. He said hello to the man who had been silently occupying the one four seater table and harassed the owner. She took it with a smile. He ordered a beer and then proceeded to scoop himself a bowl of Oden. We’d so far ignored the hot plate full of strange looking things on sticks.
We continued watching the baseball game, but it wasn’t long before Takeshi caught our eyes and started asking questions. I’m always slightly afraid of a less than warm welcome. I’ve yet to see it happen. Within minutes of Takeshi walking through the door not only did we have fresh drinks on him, but we also had a bowl of Oden to try. He literally bought us one of everything. Everything, naturally, was on a stick. We had chicken skin, chicken hearts, surimi (form pressed fish that’s a bit like fake crab), fried tofu, and bamboo that they did something magical with. The bamboo tasted a bit like butter. It melted in your mouth.
In progressively slower, Japanese he continued to ask us both questions. We talked about all sorts of things where we were from, what we liked to eat, where we lived, where we worked, and any number of other things that I’ve forgotten slightly. I unfortunately asked about something one of his friends ordered and ended up with part of it on my plate. It was delicious, but I didn’t intend to eat half of his food. I’m sure I’ll get a chance to make it up to him.
The night degenerated into phones being passed back and forth with pictures of family both young and old. This spurred a round of harassment at the owner for being old enough to be our parents. Too quickly it was over. Takeshi insisted we introduce ourselves and that we be back in the future. We won’t have any problems with that. Anyone who wants to buy me food and drinks to show me what they like is a friend I want to keep around.