Why hadn’t we thought to stick natto and rice into warm fluffy crepe layers before now?!

When you’re wandering through the streets of a bustling Japanese city, there’s few more welcome sights (or smells) than the inevitable crepe stand. Kyoto is especially rich in fluffy pancake treats you can hold in your hand, and we sent one of our reporters to go check out a creperie called Sanjiya, which has been generating some buzz for its special menu.

Head north from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line and you’ll find yourself at a pretty typical crepe shop, with a typically delectable menu displayed so that you can peruse the wares.

▼ Sanjiya can be found in downtown Kyoto

▼ So far, so normal.

But do we look like the kinds of people who go somewhere to try a usual delicious sweet crepe?! Of course not. We were here because we’d heard the rumors. We’d heard that not only did Sanjiya serve up savory crepes, but that they served one stuffed full of delicious rotten soybeans.

▼ Any of these savory delights can be yours for 450 yen (US$4.16).

The clerk who served us informed us that the natto crepe is so tasty that the Sanjiya staff often eat it for their own lunches. Is there a higher recommendation than a food product that people are still willing to eat after serving it out to customers all day? We can’t think of one. So we steeled ourselves against the temptation of the classic strawberries-and-chocolate order and placed an order for natto and rice.

▼ Hoo boy. That sure is a lot of fermented soybean packed into that crepe.

The crepe comes with a generous dollop of natto and rice, but it’s also topped with a creamy helping of mayonnaise, a dusting of green onions and a garnish of boiled seaweed. Before your stomach starts to turn, we implore you to think about the science of crepes for a moment. While they’re typically associated with the sweet flavors detailed above, that’s only because the fillings themselves are sweet; the whipped cream, the chocolate, the fruit. The crepe itself is neutral.

▼ A blank canvas, if you will.

And that blank canvas accentuates the earthy, distinct taste of natto beautifully. This may be the perfect way to serve natto framed as junk food, and our reporter was deeply impressed. Which just summons up a whole new palate of culinary concepts… Why not introduce a little crepe into a natto rice bowl? After natto ice cream and natto pudding, the sky is truly the limit.

Shop Information
Sanjiya / さんじや
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Nakagyo-ku, Takoyakushi Street, Shinkyogoku, Nishiiruurade-cho 595-3
Open 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Images © SoraNews24
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