After spending decades without ever eating at Goemon, our ace reporter is finally giving the fusion chain a shot.

Our intrepid reporter Mr. Sato is always up for an opportunity to broaden his culinary horizons. In just the past few weeks, he’s dined on a maguro mountain, cheese bread ramen, and watermelon-inspired rice balls.

And yet, in all his years of diving stomach-first into new experiences, he’s yet to eat the Japanese-style spaghetti at popular restaurant chain Goemon, and he figured it was about time he did something about that.

To clarify, we’re not using “spaghetti” as a catch-all term for noodles here. Goemon’s pasta is spaghetti, of the sort used in Italian cooking, but with extensive use of traditional Japanese toppings and seasonings.

Luckily for Mr. Sato, he didn’t have to go far to find a Goemon branch. The chain has no fewer than six locations in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, which is also the part of town where SoraNews24 headquarters is located, and so once his stomach started rumbling he pushed his chair away from his work desk and headed to Goemon for lunch.

Going at midday was a smart call, since Goemon offers about 20 different kinds of spaghetti as lunch specials, most for around 1,100 yen (US$7.85). As he’d expected, they had some very Japanese touches to them, such as spaghetti and okra with togarashi pepper, or cold spaghetti with shabu shabu pork and grated daikon radish.

After looking over the menu, Mr. Sato settled on the Salmon and Ikura Spaghetti with Mozzarella Cheese and Mentaiko Cream. It was a bit of a splurge at 1,280 yen, but he couldn’t resist the appeal of ikura (salmon roe) and mentaiko (spicy cod roe).

The presentation was surprisingly elegant, with carefully placed portions of salmon, ikura, and mentaiko in the center, with an arrayof mozzarella cheese morsels around them.

In keeping with the concept of “Japanese-style spaghetti,” the standard eating utensils you’re given at Goemon are chopsticks. Since the cheese and mentaiko are supposed to form the sauce for the pasta, Mr. Sato gave the contents of his dish several thorough stirs with his chopsticks before taking a taste.

When he did take that taste, it was delicious. The mentaiko cream had a delicious mix of subtle sweetness and sharp spice which blended well with the rich cheese. The ikura were firm and flavorful, popping like little bubbles of deliciousness as he bit into them.

The salmon was great too, with a salty and slightly smoky flavor that gave the meal a sophisticated quality.

In the end, Mr. Sato was completely satisfied, and even though he’s spent his whole life up until now without ever eating at Goemon, he doesn’t think it’ll be that long until he’s back again.

Photos © SoraNews24
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