洋食・山猫軒

Eating in Japan vol.2 Youshoku restaurant “Yamanekoken”

I went to a restaurant called Yamanekoken in Rokko, Kobe, yesterday for lunch. This is a very good restaurant, people are always making queue outside at lunchtime. I ate a dish of hamburg, fried shrimp, fried sole, karaage(fried chicken), and rice and soup for ¥1,600. In this plate, the fried sole was the best for me.

In Japan, there’s an old style of restaurants like Yamanekoken called “Youshoku” where you can eat Western food in general. I used to wonder why we do not know exactly which country’s cuisine Youshoku restaurants serve, because there are also restaurants specialized in cuisines of different countries of the world such as French, Italian, Chinese and Thai cuisine,etc.

After that I moved from Kyoto to Kobe, I think I found the reason why. I heard that there were many good Youshoku restaurants in Kobe because the cooks who used to work in ships opened Youshoku restaurants.

In the ships, there must be crews from different countries, and they might have requested the cooks to make their home country’s dishes. So, this is why the dishes of the Youshoku restaurants are not defined by the country, because it is based on the international dishes in ships. And so that the Japanese fried chicken “karaage” could join the lunch dish at Yamanekoken.

 This is just my hypothesis, so I would like to ask somebody who knows well about Youshoku restaurants and ships.

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