- January 30 2016
‘Galette’ restaurant for those tourists feeling ‘I’m sick of soba noodles!’ in Nagano
‘Soba’ noodles made from buckwheat seeds are very poplar everyday meal in Japan. There are quite a few people over 40s who prefer soba over ramen. They cannot handle rich and fatty ramen very well anymore.
Soba is known as a healthy option for its nutritious ingredients, such as Rutin (a type of polyphenols), dietary fiber, high-quality starch, protein, kalium, zinc and Vitamin B.
Nagano is known as a famous soba producing prefecture in Japan. Nagano locals also love soba, and you’ll see soba shops everywhere! Especially, in a tourist spot, you’ll start wonderling if soba is the only food that people eat in Nagano and soon feel desperate to find non-soba shops. It is no diferent from the view of ramen shops in Tokyo. (LOL)
So, that’s why I’m introducing ‘galette’ to travellers in Nagano, who are feeling desperate for other food. Galette is a French style crepe originated in Bretagne region, and it is also made from buckwheat seeds.
Since soba noodles and galette use the same ingredient, you’ll be able to spot galette cafés or restaurants very occasionally. Most places try to re-create the traditional French flavor, so it is worth checking it out!
French restaurant ‘Van-vert’ in Obuse
Obuse is a town with a long history and traditions, which is close from many tourist spots, such as Togakushi Shrine and Snow Monkey. The town itself is famous for chestnut sweets, but you will find a French restaurant offering galettes there as well.
The building seems very Japanese, but the outside seating clearly has European influence. This is so East-meets-West style.
Following the original custom of Bretagne people, a galette is normally served with cidre or French cider.
Compared to crepe, it is more attractive to see so many toppings on a galette.
Because of the mountainous location and the pure water, Nagano famously produces beautiful highland vegetable. Aromatic sweetness of the vegetables, such as lettuce or tomatoes, matches with a galette perfectly.
This galette has smoked salmon, avocado, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce and tomato pieces drizzled with cheese dressing and a soft-boiled egg on top. It has a rich taste.
This one is with chicken tenderloin, mozzarella cheese, salad, mushrooms and salad dressing over them. This galette is more typical salad-like item with a light flavor, and it would be easy to eat more and more.
‘Kagami ike Donguri House’ standing by Kagami ike pond near Togakushi Shrine
The area around Togakushi Shrine has more soba shops than Obuse. Togakushi soba from this area is especially famous in Nagano, so it is essential to try it…but if you want to eat something else in the late afternoon, I would recommend to try the galette from Donguri House.
The location is at the lakeside of Kagami ike (mirror pond), which is well known for the beautiful reflection of the Autumn foliage.
Donguri House is a timber lodge.
How was it? You probably wouldn’t have expected to hear about European meals in Japan, but I hope you enjoy both soba seeds meals and highland vegetables in Nagano.
So, why don’t you visit Nagano and try the famous galettes?