Friday, April 3, 2015


Location: Corsaire
Hanami season means cherry trees are blooming everywhere!

Update 12/11/2017:  This spot has been closed for some time I'm told, though I haven't confirmed it myself yet.


Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  1200 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dish:  Beef Tongue Stew
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:  No

Corsaire is a small little restaurant and cafe located directly across the bay on west side of the Base.  To get there you exit out Daie gate and keep walking to the Starbucks.  Hang a right and follow the boardwalk, enjoying the view of the ships and Japanese subs that hang out on this side.  As you get to the end of this rose garden park (Verny park by the way), you will see a small unassuming building to the left, surrounded by cherry trees.  The sign is very small (in the picture above you can see it to the left with the blue squiggle), so it can be easy to overlook.  I had never eaten there, so I thought it would be a nice addition to the collection.

So many "Navy Burgers", so little time
The category of "Western" food in Japan needs a little explanation.  Western food or "youshoku" is a Japanese interpretation of various western foods.  If you peruse the Wikipedia entry above you'll see the kind of catch-all category it can seem to be.  While some of the individual foods in the category will sometimes have dedicated restaurants (such as Tonkatsu), other restaurants generalize and serve lots of different kinds of "Western" food.  So sometimes you need to be a little more specific with your definition when saying it's a Western food restaurant.  In this case, I mean primarily that it does not serve typical Japanese cuisine (aka Washoku).

The mysterious "gallette"

So what kind of food does Corsair serve?  It appears that they slot into a fairly narrow set of the Western food categories.  The menu had the ever present Yokosuka Navy burger (which I'd like to try some time) and Navy curry, along with slightly different fare such as Beef Tongue Stew and various galette (a french buckwheat/soba crepe).  So maybe they are going for a French vibe?  In any case, I was hard pressed to select something as it all looked very good.  I am a sucker for tongue though, so I went with that.

Good potato salad?!

The usual salad consisted of a few leaves of lettuce and a slightly spicy leaf of some kind, and a scoop of potato salad.  As a rule, I hate potato salad, but this was actually not bad.  It wasn't overwhelmingly mayonnaise, and had good consistency instead of being mush.  The dish came with a drink too, and unusually there was Grapefruit juice as an option.  I was worried it would be a horribly sweet thing, but it was also nice and tart.  I opted for the rice (bread, though I love it, doesn't agree with me these days) as my carb.  The tongue itself was pretty good, not incredible.  The sauce wasn't very "stewy" in my opinion, tasting more like a demi-glace, but perhaps that was intentional.  Demi-glace isn't my favorite as it is reminscent of something from a can, though I'm sure this wasn't the just reminds me of it.  There was also an interesting concoction of what may have been beans, oats and pasta that was quite delicious.  I am looking forward to returning and trying the burger and gallette.

I can't end this without a word about the view and ambiance.  Although small, it feels very open, as the windows are large and span the entire area looking out onto the bay.  You can watch the subs and other boats, as well as people watch during this time when so many are out looking at the blooming cherry trees (hanami).  It would be the perfect spot for a coffee, especially on a cloudy day.  The service was quick and efficient, and they had an english menu if that's important.  There were plenty of pictures to help you figure things out.

View from the window

Overall I recommend giving this place a try, especially if you find yourself straining to find someplace new to eat within walking distance of Daie gate.  It's a bit expensive for lunch, but I think there are some sub-1000 yen options on the menu.  Even though my rating is an OK at the moment due to the less than dazzling dish I had, I may bump it up to a Very Good if the burger or gallette impress me next time.


Update:  I had a gallette today.  It was tasty, but mostly due to the egg, bacon and salmon on top.  The gallette itself appears to be something they just put on a plate and then stuff on top.  Not really impressed.

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