Pikachu…is that you?

Our Pokémon-obsessed reporter P.K. Sanjun is always on the lookout for anything related to the franchise, and usually, the quirkier it is, the better. However, on a recent trip that took him to Awajicho Station, within walking distance from the otaku mecca of Akihabara, he stumbled upon something that made him do a double take, and though it was quirky, it was also slightly disturbing.

Fried Pokémon (“ポケモン揚げ”)

Despite travelling the world searching for Pokémon, P.K. had never encountered Fried Pokémon before. Though he felt a slight trembling of trepidation at the prospect of eating a pocket monster, as a big believer of the “catch’em all” ethos, he found himself walking through the door of the restaurant, which was called Tafukurou.

▼ Tafukurou is a Chinese restaurant with eight branches, the main one being in Kawasaki, and P.K. visited the Ochanomizu location.

Surprisingly, Fried Pokémon, or “Pokémon Age” as it’s called in Japanese, isn’t the most sought-after dish on the menu here, as the staff member who served P.K. recommended the stone-grilled mapo tofu as their most popular meal. However, P.K. would not be swayed, ordering the Pokémon Age for 759 yen (US$4.90).

▼ After a few minutes, his Fried Pokémon arrived.

Fearing the restaurant may have found a way to capture and fry up pocket monsters, P.K. dipped one of the golden morsels in the accompanying mayonnaise and with chopsticks shaking, he took a cautious bite.

Chewing, he realised this was fried chicken, or “kara age” as it’s known in Japanese. It was crunchy and delicious, but P.K. couldn’t help wondering…why the heck was it called Fried Pokémon?

Flipping through the pages of the menu, he found the “ポケモン揚げ”, which revealed the reason behind the name.

▼ “Featured on TV Tokyo’s Pokémon Sunday!”

Pokémon Sunday was a Pokémon information variety show that ran on Japanese TV from 2004 to 2010, and Tafukurou’s fried chicken was introduced on the programme as “Fried Pokemon”.

As the Pokémon Company was involved in the programme, which ran live “research” segments alongside reruns of the anime, P.K. figures this chicken dish must’ve received the thumbs up to be sold as Fried Pokémon. With the segment airing over a decade ago, the dish was almost lost to the sands of time, but Pokémon fans like P.K. are doing their bit to spread the word about it, so that everyone can close their eyes and imagine they’re biting into a Pokémon.

Whether you’re a fan of the series or not, this is a great-tasting snack that’s good value for the seven pieces you get. Which has us thinking…if you could eat seven fried Pokémon, which ones would they be? Torchic would have to be on the list for sure, but if they had a surf and turf option, Magikarp definitely has the chops for it, having proven its eatability when it appeared as a taiyaki sweet back in 2016!

Store information
Tafukuro Ochanomizu store / 多福楼 御茶ノ水店
Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Awajicho, Kanda 2-3-12
Open: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (lunch); 5 p.m.-11 p.m. (dinner)
Closed Sundays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]