Can Nagoya really be considered “the most boring city in Japan”, as Philip Brasor ( 2016/10/08) puts it, or is this general thought about Nagoya making the city bleaker than it really is? We are convinced that the latter is the case. In our view, if your focus is either on regional cuisine, Japanese Tokugawa history or on (the history of) Japanese industry and technology, then Nagoya is a great place to visit.
What concerns history, Aichi prefecture is the birth region of important historical characters like Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536/37-1598), Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) and Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616). For everyone who wants to know more about Japanese history, places as Nagoya castle – enter at own risk, because the building could collapse in a strong earthquake – and the Tokugawa Art museum are a must see. More spiritual souls can calm their souls by visiting the Atsuta shrine, one of the three imperial shrines Japan offers. And car and technology enthusiasts will surely enjoy the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.
But the most pleasing about Nagoya is knowing that after a hard day of using public transport, sightseeing and learning, one can feast on the many delicious dishes (like Misokatsu, Tebasaki and Unagidon) Nagoya offers. But instead of focusing on restaurants serving the traditional Nagoya dishes, I’ll introduce the meat restaurant Redrock.
Although my friend had already given me some options for lunch to choose from, she opted to contact her younger sister, a charming young lady living in Nagoya, to ask her personal recommendations as well. As a meat lover, she immediately recommended RedRock, a rather recent restaurant in the neighbourhood of the Buddhist temple Osu Kannon and the shopping street Niomon Dori.
Choosing to trust the insider info of my friend’s sister, we set out to find Red Rock. It was not too difficult to find the restaurant, as there were some 20 people waiting in line in front of the restaurant.
Even though the place was packed, the restaurant was not noisy at all. For people, like myself, who like to converse with their food ‘partners’, this will be a reassurance. Furthermore the tables are placed to engender privacy – and under the table a basket is provided to put your bags in. The interior is trendy and contemporary and by opting for more darker colours like black and red for example a cozy framework and atmosphere is created.
The service visitors receive in RedRock is minimal. This is in part because the restaurant uses a convenient ‘order and pay’ machine, which makes most of the staff interactions unnecessary. This machine, positioned outside at the entrance, lets you choose and pay the dish(es) you would like have before entering the restaurant; the received ticket/check is then used by the staff to know what you have ordered. By opting for this system, RedRock provides an easygoing smooth straightforward restaurant experience.
Even though there are various options on the menu to choose from, people will probably come for either the most popular dish, the roast-beef bowl, or the slice steak bowl, which is the second most popular dish.
As I only ordered the roast-beef bowl (size large), I’ll focus my review on this dish alone. The roast-beef bowl is a heap of rice topped with roasted red meat, a raw egg and a yogurt sauce. It is a straight-forward no nonsense dish that perfectly expresses the fact that you didn’t come here for your daily input of vegetables – even though you do receive a leaf of salad.
And this dish is just Fabulous – yes, Fabulous with a capital F. The taste and texture of the juicy meat in the mouth is downright outstanding. And it is not only the meat that is outstanding, as the egg yolk and the yogurt sauce further enhances the joy of eating the roast beef. Seeing some of the yogurt sauce and egg yolk drip from a fine slice of meat, as you bring it to your mouth with your chopsticks, is a very satisfying sight. For meat lovers, involuntarily expressing “oishii” has never been closer.
I do have two minor criticisms. There is too little yogurt sauce to my liking, and the rice, especially when you are trying to finish the entire dish, can be somewhat dry.
- Expect to wait some time before being able to enter the restaurant.
- Expect a smooth straightforward restaurant visit in a cozy and trendy atmosphere.
- Expect delicious juicy meat – and a big portion of rice if you order the large meat-bowl.
- Prices: 850 yen – 2000 yen.
For people who want to try this extremely satisfying meat-bowl but aren’t anywhere near Nagoya will be happy to know that Red Rock has branches in Kobe – where RedRock was founded, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyoto as well.
Red Rock Nagoya
Openings hours: 11:30-23:00 (Last order: 22:00).
Address: 3 Chome-31-42 Ōsu. Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0011. Japan.