The Famous Chicken Nanban of Ogura in Miyazaki
Welcome to a new episode of Food Escapades Japan where your host, Le Captain Foodie, travels around Japan to discover and review the best food available.
In Today’s episode, i am bringing you to the charming city of Miyazaki, in the island of Kyushu. After following in the footsteps of the king of pork in Kagoshima, it was time to meet the god of Chicken in Miyazaki.
Miyazaki city is the biggest city of the Miyazaki prefecture with approximately 400 000 inhabitants. It is a city famous for its sunshine, friendly people and delicious food. I absolutely wanted to visit Miyazaki to eat what is considered one of the best chicken in Japan if not the world.
Amongst many specialities, one thing that has been recommended to me several times when i said i was visiting Miyazaki city, is the Chicken Nanban. It is a local speciality of fried Chicken dipped in sweet vinegar and topped with Nanban tartar sauce. It isn’t introduced as fine cuisine but it is supposed to be a delicious and comforting dish. One of many Miyazaki’s chicken speciality.
THE BIRTHPLACE OF CHICKEN NANBAN:
If you mention that you want to try Chicken Nanban in Miyazaki City people will usually recommend you to go to Ogura.
Ogura has several branches in Miyazaki (Honten, Segashira, Awagigaharacho,…) and you will recognise them with the funny white and yellow logo in the picture above. The restaurant i visited is the Honten branch. It is located near Tachibana street and the shopping area of Miyazaki. If you plan on visiting this restaurant, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the big department store and local shops around before indulging in a delicious Chicken Nanban.
The restaurant itself has a pretty relaxed and casual atmosphere with European influence. (You now that convivial Sunday family lunch type of place).
THE FAMOUS CHICKEN NANBAN:
I can picture the face of my brother over and over again when he saw the dish coming and asked me:
“Is this really a plate of fried chicken with an incredible amount of sauce on top, served with a mountain of spaghetti, cabbage and an additional plate of rice on the side?”.
Well, it was. Ogura serves really generous portions. The kind of heavy meal that could cure any hangover…, and god knows we needed it.
Let’s talk about Chicken Nanban first:
The Miyazaki prefecture is renowned for producing one of the best Chicken in the world (More about that in another article). Just remember that in Miyazaki people are serious when it comes to chicken. It is like French and their Cheese. They treasure it, nurture it, and use it to produce delicious meals.
On a scale of The Chicken speciality to try in Miyazaki, the Chicken Nanban would probably be ranked first for its accessibility (you can find it everywhere), price point (super affordable) and taste (pretty good and original).
The Chicken Nanban recipe varies from one place to another but it is usually a light battered fried chicken dipped in a sweet vinegar sauce and topped with a lot of tartare sauce.
It is very different in comparison to the national fried chicken dish also known as Kaarage. The Chicken Nanban served at Ogura is what i refer to as a very Japanese, Non-Japanese dish.
A vey Japanese Non-Japanese Dish:
If serving a mix of Spaghetti and Rice is a huge food faux-pas from where i am from, it remains delicious nonetheless.
Chicken Nanba is the perfect example of a Japanese Non-Japanese dish. What i mean by that is a dish with European influence but not respecting any of the European rules. (I mean, Rice and Spaghetti together really?)
The chicken itself is more like a fried veal cutlet or Escalope de veau panée than a proper thick buttermilk fried chicken. The sweet and sour mix is also pretty interesting and adds to the complexity of the dish. The tartar sauce is an aioli based french sauce (pretty good) It goes well with both the chicken, the spaghetti and the rice.
Overall the Chicken Nanban at Ogura is delicious. It is an interesting speciality to try. Don’t expect haute cuisine or fine dining here. Ogura is a casual restaurant with casual dishes served in a relaxed atmosphere. Something you would rather go and eat with your friend than on a date night with your partner (don’t get me wrong, i would still bring mine if she asks me for Fried chicken while visiting Miyazaki).
Size: The set menu we ordered is huge. Honestly come hungry otherwise you will struggle to finish everything.
Service: Friendly and Quick.
Price: for 1010円, (not even 9 dollars) it is a real bargain and amazing price for value!
Overall: A pretty decent meal. I wouldn’t say it is the best-fried chicken i had in my life but the sweet and sour mix is quite good and original.
“If i told you that the Chicken Nanban at Ogura is the best Fried chicken i had in my life i’d be lying. However, Ogura is offering a pretty decent and interesting dish with a really good price point.
Worth a try if you are visiting Miyazaki and want to discover a local speciality. ”
Price for value: 5/5
3-4-24 Tachibanadorihigashi, Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture
Opening Hours :
- Everyday : 11:00am – 03:30am