Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kobe Motomachi Doria

Location: Kobe Motomachi Doria

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  1500 yen
Payment:  Credit Cards accepted
Dishes:  Extra large Eggplant and Bacon Creamy Doria
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:  No
So many doria!
Doria are an interesting dish (is that grammatically correct?).  Basically it's rice in a bowl mixed with sauce and topped with things.  The bowl is quite hot and seems to finish cooking the rice as you eat it.  Kobe Motomoachi Doria is a restaurant that specializes in doria.  Most "western" food Japanese restaurants will have a doria or two on the menu.  Not so's all doria all the time!  It's another Daie Mall chain restaurant that I occasionally eat at...not very high up in the rotation for reasons that will become clear.

Spring Specials
There are literally more doria here than you can shake a stick at (assuming you had an actual stick).  Apparently, according to the Internets, doria is originally an Italian dish that was introduced to Japan around 1925.  I refuse to footnote that however, as I'm not sure I trust the source.  But it seems as good an explanation as anything.  Aside from the rice, there isn't much to the dish that would suggest Japan.  It's creamy, cheesy and rich.  I've had probably 3 different doria so far, and there are many more I'll probably never end up trying.  I did one time try a new "pizza" doria that is still available...a long piece of flat bread (pizza dough maybe) topped with a layer of rice and cheese.  I am not so sure about that combination though...rice and's a bit of a carb overload.  And there's something odd about the texture.

English menu

But I figured I'd go with an actual doria and so selected the one that looked most appealing in an extra-large size.  This is because I've always left feeling a little unsatisfied in the past, so I figured I'd try MOAR rice!  I chose the eggplant bacon as I love those two things, and a creamy sauce (there are some that are not creamy).  The English menu is very easy to use, though the specials menu is still in Japanese.

The presentation is very nice, with a flame under the bowl to keep it hot for a while.  By the end of the meal there are usually some nice crispy rice bits to chew on.  The salad and soup are unremarkable.  The little tray of 3 pickled nibbles also fail to leave much of an impression.  The main event is the doria itself, which is eaten most easily by scooping some out into the little bowl provided and letting it cool a bit before attempting to eat with chopsticks.  It may seem odd to use chopsticks in this case, but the cheese helps the rice to stick and it becomes easy to eat.  In the picture I snapped, I had about 3 of the small bowls full before the main dish ran out.  It was cheesy and creamy, but somehow also doesn't really impress.  The flavors are a bit bland.  The veg/meat is very light compared with the large amount of saucy rice.

Extra-large doria
I mentioned I ordered the extra large for the first time, and it was much more satisfying.  However it was rather expensive.  And this is my main complaint with the place...almost everything is 1200 yen or more for the starter teishokus.  And unlike many other places, I never feel like I actually had lunch afterwards for some reason.  I don't want to have to spend 1500 yen for lunch and so I tend to not come back very much.  But it is good for a change from the routine, and my wife and son enjoyed it when we went as a family once.

 There's plenty of room with lots of 4 seater tables available.  The staff are typically Japanese and efficient, so no complaints there.  And they take credit cards, always helpful.

So overall, it's not one of my favorite places, but I don't dislike it in any way.  If only the dishes were a couple hundred yen less and there was more punch to the flavors, I might really like it.  As it is, it gets an OK.

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