Pasta de Coco
Toranomon: Yoshoku
Pasta de Coco (Toranomon: Yoshoku)
Pasta de Coco
Open 11am-10pm daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
no smoking: No smoking

Nagoya boasts a number of regional dishes that are more popular with local residents than non-Nagoyans, and ankake spaghetti is one of the stranger ones. It's basically a plate of pan-fried spaghetti, topped with chopped vegetables in a potato starch-based gelatinous sauce. Although it's common enough in its home city to be served in numerous specialty restaurants and even sold in convenience stores, in Tokyo this brightly lit counter shop seems to be the only place where it's available.

You can order it here with just vegetables and bits of meat, or with an additional topping of deep-fried prawns (aka "ebi-fry," another Nagoya specialty) or fried squid rings. It's served piping hot on an iron plate, and it continues to sizzle once it's arrived. Note that portion sizes may not look big, but they're quite filling. Caesar salads can be ordered as a side dish.

This is a unique dish, definitely not Italian and not Chinese in flavor, and we could imagine someone developing a fondness for it. The thicker-than-average noodles are a bit chewy, and the flavors and textures of the vegetables are varied enough to keep things interesting. We found that a few splashes of Tabasco (available on the counter) improved the overall flavor, as much for the vinegar content as for the spicy peppers.

If you're ready to explore the mysteries of Japanese-style spaghetti dishes further, Pasta de Coco offers thirty different pasta varieties in total. These include Spaghetti Napolitan, a classic yoshoku dish made with a tomato ketchup-based sauce. A standard ankake spaghetti runs Y960, including tax.

Minato-ku, Nishi-Shimbashi 1-23-9.

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Venue listing from Bento.com2 Star Rating: may appeal to some readers