It turns out there are ways to spruce up Japan’s simplest dish!

Tamagokake gohan is just about the easiest Japanese dish you could ever make. Simply crack an egg over a bowl of piping hot rice, give it a moment to let the heat rising of the grains flash cook it, and voila, it’s done (in Japan, eggs are generally considered safe to eat raw). You can accent it with your desired seasoning or sauce, but it’s pretty darn delicious as it is, and it’s the ultimate cheap, fast meal.

Unless you make it bougie, of course, like what they do at Tamago no Ohanashi, a tamagokake gohan (hereinafter referred to as TKG) specialty restaurant. You may be wondering, how can you possibly level up an egg cracked over rice? They manage it, and the result is simply art.

The restaurant is located on the first basement floor of a building about a five-minute walk from JR Kichijoji Station in Tokyo. It opened in January this year as a newly renovated restaurant and has been open for business daily since April.

You can choose your toppings (if any) and how many eggs you want. You also have the option of small, regular, or large rice, and no matter which size you pick, there’s no extra charge. Their rice servings are a bit on the small side, but you can also order seconds. You can even have your egg whites whipped up into a fluffy meringue for free! We’ve tried something similar before and it was delicious, so we were excited to try it again.

Tamago no Ohanashi also also has other rice dishes like Taco Rice, but we came for TKG, and that’s what we ordered. We got the Kyokujo Tamagokake Gohan Gozen (First-Rate Tamagokake Gohan Meal) for 1,300 yen (US$9.50). It gave us the option to refill our rice once, have up to two eggs, and choose up to three toppings. We picked spicy cod roe, domestically produced butter, and an onion-ginger paste. It also came with a white broth chicken soup, which is something that comes with every set meal.

When you order your TKG, you get to choose the type of egg you want at the counter. There were all kinds of egg brands and types, and they all looked like perfectly tasty eggs, so we had a hard time picking one. In the end, we decided on the Beni Premium, a type of egg produced in Ibaraki Prefecture, and we asked for the egg’s whites to be whipped into a meringue.

Soon enough, out came our fancy TKG!

It was beautiful! We’ve never seen such a pretty bowl of TKG. Considering it’s typically just an egg cracked over rice, no one really strives for presentation. But this was a work of art…we almost didn’t want to eat it!

▼ Here’s what TKG normally looks like. Not nearly as pretty as Tamago no Ohanashi’s.

The whipped egg whites were so fluffy and stiff that it was hard to convince ourselves it wasn’t a dessert. When we ate a spoonful of it, it had a faint flavor of dashi. The contrast between the dessert-like appearance and the savory TKG flavors was enough to break our brains.

The rice was high-quality, grown in Niigata, which is famous for its delicious rice. Every ingredient in this dish, simple as it was, was of excellent quality. This was, quite possibly, the most luxurious TKG we would ever eat.

The yolk was a beautiful bright orange color. When we broke it, it looked so good, it made our mouths water.

That bowl was enough to satisfy, but we had the option of having seconds. What to do? Should we have another? And if we do, which egg should we have? And should we have its whites whipped again?

We decided to go for a more classic TKG for the second helping. We got a second serving of rice and requested the Koi Kimi Tamago (“Rich-Yolk Egg”), which is also a product of Ibaraki.

With a crack, we dumped the egg on top of the rice, but to our dismay, the yolk broke before we could savor the sight of its perfect, rounded beauty against the white backdrop of the rice.

We quickly put the toppings on to hide our mistake, and with a little drizzle of the oyster soy sauce supplied on the table, our second TKG was complete.

All that was left was to mix and eat! The flavor of the spicy cod roe really accented the sweetness of the rice, which made us think that there is probably an art to choosing and combining the toppings. It really felt like the possibilities were endless.

Plus, they also have a social media-only menu available on their official Instagram (a fact we only realized after we left), so there are plenty of ways to enjoy TKG at Tamago no Ohanashi. Their ingredients are fresh and delicious, possibly even better than using foaming soy sauce or luxury toppings at home, so if you’re a TKG fan, you’ll want to check it out!

Restaurant information
Kichijoji TKG Tamago no Ohanashi / 吉祥寺TKG たまごのおはなし
Address: Tokyo-to Musashino-shi Kichijoji Honcho 1-8-14 Rokunarikan Building B1F
Open 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]