Although I had noticed a new shop preparing to open on 河原町Kawaramachi between 松原Matsubara and 万寿寺Manjuji early in 2012, I didn’t make it to 西富家コロッケ店NISHITOMIYA Croquette STORE until late April of this year after I saw it covered on an early March airing of “LIFE ~夢のカタチYume no katachi (Shape of Dreams)~”. The owner opened the croquette shop in July last year in the hopes of sharing the taste of his mother’s croquettes combined with ingredients rarely used in croquettes for a new unique twist to a favorite of his growing up to as many people as possible.
I had passed by it several times after it opened but to tell you the truth, I’m not much of a croquette fan, otherwise I would have gone in because the shop is pleasing to the eye with a simple yet sophisticated look associated with a modern café which sets it apart from the some of the other older or more traditional buildings in the area. However, after watching the program, I was convinced to give it a chance, so I dropped by before going into work which is very close by the way.
The menu is to one’s left upon entering the shop.
The filling for the croquettes are also handwritten on cards lined up on the display case which holds croquettes yet to be fried…that’s the beauty of the croquettes here, they’re fried up after ordering.
NISHITOMIYA does mainly take-out, so the dining area is often unused; however, bar service is available Friday and Saturday nights during which one can try croquettes different from those on the take-out menu as well as other dishes accompanied by alcohol.
I want to dine here sometime!
my buys☺…the croquettes are placed in the bag in the order that the names are written.
スモークサーモンとディルsumohku saamon to diru (smoked salmon & dill), ￥200,ドライフルーツとくるみdorai furuutsu to kurumi (dried fruit & walnut), ￥200, and バジルbajiru (basil), ￥200
I actually had these cold because I couldn’t get to eating them immediately…still tasty but more filling than probably when they’re hot but without being disgusting as most fried foods can be after cooling off. Mama Nishitomi’s croquettes call for white sauce with potato…and how can you not like the sound of the fillings that I got?! Let’s just say that I like croquette now, well, at least these.☺
I went back almost a month later and got the salmon & dill one again along with the ブルーチーズblue cheese one, ￥210.
I got to eat these hot…crispy on the outside and once bit into, the fillings, especially the cheese one, oozed out.
FYI: The next time I went back, over four months later, I got the same thing…never-changing flavor and satisfaction, that’s what keeps me hooked.
Update: A year and a half later, after finding out that NISHITOMIYA now serves lunch between 12:00 and 3:00pm, I went with Iori-san who also was curious about lunch there. I arrived 30 minutes before opening time and Iori-san arrived not too long after not knowing that croquettes can be taken away from 11:30am, so we looked around shops in the area before getting there a little after open. There was a female customer already seated at the barrel table closest to the wall when we arrived but she left after meeting a friend by coincidence there; there were two customers waiting for their to-go orders.
Iori-san wanted to sit at the barrel table that has the best window view with plenty of light, all the better when taking pictures of food, but it’s the most awkward place to dine because of course there’s no back rest to the tall stools and we had to bend down to eat…on top of that, my stool shared space with a big potted plant which I was careful not to harm it with sudden movement.
There’s only one lunch option, the Nice-style salad and croquette set, ￥1100, which comes with a hearty salad, four pieces of toast and one’s choice of two croquettes…the drinks available were ￥100 off with the set, so I got ginger ale, ￥300, while Iori-san opted for white wine, ￥350.
I chose my favorite croquette, salmon & dill, and one I haven’t had before, bacon-mustard.
Despite the less-than-desirable seating, I was really impressed with our fantastic meal which was delicious all the way through. I’m already thinking about having it again soon, so easy when work is close by…even Iori-san said I was lucky to work close by.☺