火曜日, 6月 29, 2004

New Vegetarian Restaurant in Kobe

    Last night, my friend Misa and I went to Vegismile, a new vegan restaurant in Kobe. It's a terrific place with many interesting choices for vegetarians. It is a little hard to find, but it's near Hankyu Rokko station, in Nada-ku.
    I don't know of any other vegan restaurants in Kobe, or even completely vegetarian restaurants. Yum Jam in Motomachi is good for "Asian vegetarian and semi-vegetarian dishes" -- the ones with fish and seafood are clearly marked on the menu. But Vegismile is better if you want more casual food and atmosphere. Misa and I had the veggie burger plate and dorias, with Kahlua Soymilk to drink, a rare combination but very tasty. The burger was especially good. It had a very rich, mushroomy taste almost like meat, but more flavorful.
    The owner and chef of Vegismile is Takeshi Yamamoto. He studied with vegan chefs in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand after he developed an allergy to animal products. (I got this information from an article by Chris Page in Kansai Scene magazine.) In most ordinary restaurants around here, they put meat and fish in everything. The vegetarian choices are usually zero. The salads and omelets or rice dishes have meat in them, and everything else has fish or seafood. The bakery in JR Sannomiya station has raw ham slices in the salads, yuck! And many bakeries use lard in the bread. Ironically, one of the few places you can find a decent salad around here is Wendy's. They also have baked potatoes and coffee jelly frosties. I've started going there a lot for their garden salad (now that I'm completely sick of Starbucks).
    I bought a tofu burger at Daimaru once, and I asked the woman selling them first "Does this have any meat or fish in it?" and she assured me "No, just vegetable" so I bought it and took it home, but when I bit into it there were shrimp inside. You really have to question everything.


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