Old favorite revived in train museum cafe

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Beronezu, a meat sauce spaghetti with pork cutlets, is served at the View Restaurant inside The Railway Museum in Saitama.

The Yomiuri ShimbunSAITAMA — A dish that was popular in JR dining cars is now available at the View Restaurant inside The Railway Museum in Omiya Ward. Called Beronezu, which sounds similar to “Veronese,” the dish features meat sauce spaghetti with a pork cutlet. It remains a particular favorite among middle-aged and elderly railway fans.

Priced at ¥980, it began to be served when Nippon Restaurant Enterprise Co. opened the restaurant in July last year.

Every day, 20 to 30 servings, or more than 700 servings a month are ordered. The taste is relatively sweet, so children can enjoy it too. The pork cutlets are served freshly fried, attracting customers with their crispness.

Beronezu is one of the most popular dishes in the restaurant, followed by the kids meal and Omiya Neapolitan spaghetti. Manager Morimichi Hoshi, 45, said, “The dish is regularly praised by middle-aged and elderly customers, and we receive inquiries about it.”

According to NRE, Beronezu was served in the dining cars of limited express and express trains from around 1966. It was also served in NRE’s directly run restaurants in Sendai and other places. The origin of the name, however, is unclear.

The number of directly run restaurants where you could order it decreased from the 1990s, when dining cars and buffet cars were mostly discontinued. Soon after, the dish disappeared as well.

Terunobu Utsunomiya, 69, deputy director of the Kyushu Railway History Museum, worked as a cook in dining cars for more than 30 years from 1969.

“[The] sauce [on trains in western Japan] was similar to demi-glace. The dish was also popular on blue trains,” he said, referring to those with sleeping cars.

Aiming to cater to people who feel nostalgic about dining cars, NRE opened the Kanda Tetsudo Kurabu restaurant in June 2017 near the north exit of JR Kanda Station in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. The restaurant aimed to carry on the flavors of dishes from the Showa era (1926-89).

Beronezu was also served, but the restaurant closed in September 2018 due to construction work on the station’s platforms.

The original recipe had been lost. Chefs in the Kanda restaurant interviewed NRE employees in their 50s to reproduce it, and the meat sauce was chosen from among products of eight manufacturers.

Masaaki Takamura, 56, who worked in NRE’s product development department through March, said: “Support for [the dish] is so strong that we revived the dish when View Restaurant opened. We want to pass on the flavors from dining cars to future generations.”

View Restaurant

Open: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

Closed: Tuesdays

Address: 3-47 Onaricho, Omiya Ward, Saitama

Phone: (048) 663-8083

English description of dishes and drinks on the menu

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