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Eating out / Nagoya cafe’s egg sandwich proves ‘simple is best’

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Nagonoya’s egg sandwiches

By Toshiki Kariya / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterNAGOYA — In Nagoya’s nostalgic Endoji shopping district, a cafe is serving an egg sandwich that has preserved the original taste of a sandwich from an 81-year-old cafe.

Even though the original cafe has now closed down, the new cafe started serving food at the same location under the different name of Nagonoya.

Now, the sandwich is not only popular with the locals, but also foreign visitors.

Thick fried eggs and mayonnaise mixed with chopped cucumber, which is rubbed with salt first to soften the texture, are sandwiched between three slices of bread. The hearty sandwich has a mix of light, fluffy and crunchy textures.

The sandwich (¥750) has been a signature item since Nagonoya’s predecessor Nishi Asahi opened in 1932 — Nishi Asahi closed in 2013, but Daisuke Tao, who runs a company to revitalize local communities, renovated the cafe, hoping “to cheer up the shopping district by blending new things into old and valued things.”

The new cafe opened in 2015, and the signature item was re-created.

The sandwich looks and tastes the same as when it was served at the previous cafe. While there was no recipe available, part-time workers who used to work at Nishi Asahi and regular customers shared what they remembered with Tao, and he re-created it after about two months of trial and error.

Tao decided to use less butter than the original recipe when frying the eggs. Even so, local people who were familiar with the taste from the previous cafe said, “This is what I was eating in my childhood.” Meanwhile, foreign visitors have said, “Simple is best.”

The cafe’s interior is the same as Nishi Asahi, and the second floor is a guesthouse. I ate the hearty sandwich in the cozy, quiet space and sat back in a comfy sofa, reading books and tapping away on my computer. It was so relaxing that I almost lost track of time.

Tao said his sandwich is filled with his desire to “make the cafe a place for various kinds of people to mingle, while preserving tradition.”

Nagonoya

Open: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Closed: Mondays

Address: 1-6-13 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya

Phone: (052) 551-6800

Credit cards accepted

English menu available

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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