Saturday, May 26, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 - Kichi+ キチプラス

Visited 12.11.2017 (Sun)

Revisit. Had a brief encounter with Atami in Jan 2016 to catch the concurrent blooming of plum blossoms and cherry blossoms then. Came here again for different reason this time round - to board the themed sightseeing train, Izu Craile 伊豆クレイル heading for Shimonda in Izu Peninsula. Decided to spend the earlier part of the day here first to enjoy a leisure stroll around Sun Beach and settle my lunch after that. There was one thing I wanted to do very much again in Atami, it was to revisit Kichi+ for their specialty - Shirasu (white bait) rice bowl! 

Shirashi don, from my first visit in Jan 2016. 
Simple goodness. It all started with Cafe Kichi which opened its door for business in an alley between Nakamise-dori 仲見世通り and Heiwa-dori 平和通り, both of them are located in close vicinity to Atami JR Station. Cafe Kichi brought along a fresh breath of air into the long established shopping streets with their handmade sweets and coffee blend. Eventually, they had to search for more space to accommodate the growing number of diners and this led to the opening of Kichi+ in 2008, occupying a shophouse unit along Nakamise-dori. While Cafe Kichi focus on sweets and drinks, Kichi+ offers simple set meals and is always packed with people during lunch hours. The refurbished two storey shophouse has incorporated both modern and minimalist elements to create a comfortable dining environment for its patrons. The food menu is rather straightforward and easy to comprehend, in which white bait harvested from Suruga Bay 駿河湾, is the lead ingredient in their famous rice bowl. On my first visit, I tucked into a delicious bowl of boiled shirasu don (ゆでしらす丼) and I like it a lot. The subtle sweetness of shirasu captivated my tastebuds and it tasted even better with a small amount of light soy sauce and grated ginger added. After this pleasant encounter, I told myself that I should try the raw version if I ever get to visit here again.  

Gems of Suruga Bay. And because of how my itinerary was planned out, I could afford a short trip to Atami again. Without much hesitation, I made my way egaerly to Kichi+ just before the lunch crowd arrived. This time round, I ordered the three coloured / Sanshoku don (三色丼) which comprised of both boiled and raw shirasu and boiled sakura shrimp. All three were equally and evenly laid out on top of warm rice and the bright red colour of sakura shrimp was just too enticing to look at! Tastewise, it did not disappoint again. Though the raw, translucent shirasu did not look appetising from its appearance, it actually tasted better than it looks. The only difference I felt between the raw and boiled version was its texture. Regardless, the freshness and sweetness of this delicate puny fish could be savoured in every mouthful. To me, sakura shrimp was the highlight of this rice bowl. It tasted even sweeter and because the shells were retained, it has a better mouthfeel than shirasu. Simple as it looks, this rice bowl is packed with gems harvested from Suruga Bay, an important incubator for both shirasu and sakura shrimp, which will blow you away!

- Boiled shirasu don (ゆでしらす丼): 1,000 yen
- Three coloured don / Sanshoku don: 1,300 yen


Kichi+ キチプラス
Operating hours: 1000 - 1800 hrs; closed on Wednesdays
Approx 3 minutes walk from Atami JR Station. Kichi+ is located along Nakamise-dori 仲見世通り, a sheltered pedestrian only street lined up with shop houses on both sides.

No comments:

Post a Comment