Das japanische Viertel in Düsseldorf

This post will be a little difficult to write, partly because it’s been over three months since my last entry and I’ve become a bit rusty at blogging. Mostly, though, it’s because I’m writing about food and I haven’t a single photo of the stuff in here.

I’ve grown rather fond of the Japanese Quarter in Düsseldorf. It has restaurants selling great food at decent prices, a combination which isn’t easily found in this part of Europe. Furthermore, it’s close to Düsseldorf Hbf and therefore highly accessible on foot.

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The Japanese Quarter is largely centred around Immermannstraße, although my two favourite places are found along Klosterstraße, which runs parallel to the former street. Ironically, none of the restaurants I’m about to mention appears in this post’s photos.

The first is called Yabase and it has all manner of delicious dishes that aren’t sushi. That said, I really only order the katsudon which, if you’re a fan of pork escalope and eggs, I’d highly recommend.

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The second is called Na Ni Wa and it seems that about half of Düsseldorf are fans of the place, because I have never seen it without a substantial queue outside. It specialises in ramen, which is good news for those who also associate Japanese food with soup noodles. I’ve found that dining alone or with one other person is a great way to skip the queue and quickly get a place.

Oh yes, for the others who associate Japanese cuisine with sushi, Na Ni Wa also has a separate sushi restaurant. I’ve never tried it so I don’t know what it’s like.

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Now I’d go on about how succulent the fried pork at Yabase is and how flavourful Na Ni Wa’s ramen soup bases are, but it’d be pointless to do so without any accompanying food photos. So, I’ll just ramble a little from this point on.

One day in March of this year, I visited Düsseldorf at a weekend. After having lunch at Yabase, I thought I’d take a walk and make some photos. These are the ones you see here.

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I then proceeded to lose interest in Japanese restaurants and walked to another part of Düsseldorf. This was followed by me doing stuff until it was time to go back to the Netherlands so that I could work on Monday.

Why bother with work, you ask? Well, I need money to pay my stupid rent. But more importantly, money allows me to travel to different places to eat. And meet new people. And do other things, like sightseeing and getting more cultured by visiting art museums and pretending to understand what’s in front of me even though I stridently feel a toddler could’ve created something similar.

Even worse are those pieces where a person is depicted and their eyes are clearly in the wrong place but it’s okay because it’s ‘abstract’ art. How would you like it if your oncologist gave you an ‘abstract’ diagnosis of bone cancer? Interpret that in whatever way you want, why don’t you.

But I digress.

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If someone were to ask why I’m so enamoured of the Japanese Quarter, I’d say that it’s mainly because of Yabase – I enjoy its katsudon a great deal. It’s not so much that it’s properly made – which it is, along with the other items on the menu – as it is the fact that I first tried the dish as a child and really liked it, and have had it many times ever since.

Katsudon is rather a comfort food of mine. It doesn’t bring back warm, fuzzy memories of my childhood, but it’s pretty darn tasty and makes me happy for the moment. And that’s enough reason to warrant a trip to Klosterstraße every time I’m in Düsseldorf.

The end.