May 16, 2012

Favourite Japan Foods: Chibi Kara Don

I have a love-hate relationship with the Japanese word 'chibi'. It basically means 'small and cute', and can be used to describe cartoon characters who are tiny but have oversized heads. Now, my nickname in high school used to be 'Shivvy', and when I would ask Japanese people to call me by that name, it would inevitably result in shrieks of hilarity and exclamations of 'CHIIIIBBBBIIII!' Repulsive.

There is one type of chibi that I do not mind at all, however, and that is Chibi Kara Donburi, or a bowl of tiny juicy pieces of lightly fried chicken on top of rice, drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce and topped with seaweed, cabbage, and spring onions. It is the specialty dish of a small restaurant just down the road from campus, and every lunchtime there are long lines of Kandai students waiting to eat there. Delicious and cheap - Chibi Kara Don only costs 350 yen. It is the perfect loose change meal.
If I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life, it would still be not enough.
Another reason I love this restaurant is the fact that they have two beautiful labradors, one white and one chocolate, who hang outside in a little kennel near the entrance. They are adorable, and you can often see them around the area being taken on walks.

Wee gem of a restaurant, located in Kandai-mae
It's called Umakara... something. Can't read the kanji.
The owners are a really down to earth couple. The husband sits behind the counter grunting 'welcomes' at customers. He has a droopy moustache that makes him look exactly like his dogs. The wife rushes around the cramped little restaurant taking orders. For such a tiny person, she has a very loud and authoritative voice. One time she told our group to 'stop chatting and order already!' Another time, during a particularly busy lunch hour, she told a table of guys who had just finished eating to hurry up and get out, because other people were waiting for the table. She is hilarious. Classic Osakan businesswoman.

We probably eat here about twice a week, and I think we are nearly counted as regulars. At least, whenever I order now, the lady goes 'without mayonnaise, right?'
She knows exactly what I like.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I knew about that place when I lived in Osaka!