Untapped Kumamoto

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どろっぷす&南阿蘇珈琲(Drops & Minami aso coffee) Vegetable restaurant & coffee

Do you watch what you eat?

 

Even though we perfectly understand how important it is to eat well, because of our hustle and bustle life, some of us find it difficult to take time to cook and even to enjoy eating.

 

Also, when it comes to cooking, choosing good quality of food is quite important. 

 

If they are good and fresh, we don’t need to season them a lot.

 

Luckily, we have some good organic shops in Kumamoto(I’ll introduce them later), I go to one of them every week and enjoy choosing seasonal vegetables and fruits.

 

Surprisingly, most of the time I can buy good ones, cheaper than supermarkets.

 

This time, me and my friends are going to introduce this beautiful and relaxing vegetable cafe, どろっぷす(Drops).

 

It was a year ago when I first went there I was so stressed out.

 

I just needed to relax and release my stress and one of my friend told me about Drops.

 

Before visiting there, I’d checked about it on facebook and all the photos of the dishes, coffee and garden looked amazing.

 

Drops is located in the center of Kumamoto city and I was wondering why I didn’t notice it before.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

To go to Drops, first we go through this coffee shop, 南阿蘇珈琲(Minami aso coffee).

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

Drops and Minami aso coffee are in the same building and they have renovated rooms.

 

I couldn’t imagine how they looked like originally.

 

 

The owner of Minami aso coffee, Koji-san is a gentleman and a specialist of coffee.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

We can order coffee there or we can buy packs of beans. 

 

My friend who recommended me this place always buys coffee beans from him and she can’t think of buying one from other place!

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

When we entered Minami aso coffee, this beautiful プリン(Prin, named from ‘princess’) welcomed us.

 

She’s so adorable, beautiful and gentle.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

Koji-san told me that he took Prin from the animal shelter.

She’s the second Prin which means that he used to have first Prin before and after she died, he took Prin. 

 

She’s too cute to leave!

 

After spending some time playing with lovable Prin, Koji-san took us to Drops and you’ll see this beautiful garden, full of nice plants and antique chairs which were decorated by the owner of Drops, Kaori-san.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

Kaori san is such a nice person.

 

She always welcomes us cheerfully with her enchanting smile.

 

I ensure that  people visit Drops not just to enjoy the delicious meal but also to enjoy talking to her.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

She was wearing this beautiful dress which she dyed indigo blue with Japanese traditional way.

 

When I first visited there, because I was alone, I felt a little nervous but thanks to her cheerful smile, my anxiety just went away and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t stop talking to her.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

We can see how she loves vegetable by listening to her talking about them.

 

I feel that she uses all her intuition when she cooks and these vegetables are so lucky to be cooked by her.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

She enjoys cooking all the colorful vegetables with various ways and flavors.

 

Some are steamed, some are deep fried, some are served in fresh, depending on the season or colors of vegetables.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

We ordered this お野菜プレート(vegetable plate) which is basically the only menu there(sometimes she offers another menus like curry or noodle but the numbers are  limited).

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

She said that she is not a vegetarian but this vegetable plate doesn’t include meat(sometimes cheese is included).

 

She doesn’t use sugar when she cooks, except only in dessert.

 

Instead of meat, she uses 車麩(kuruma-fu) which is a round 麩(fu).

 

Source : https://www.photo-ac.com

 

Here, let me explain a little bit about fu as it’s an interesting food here.

 

In the beginning of Muromachi period(1338-1573), a priest from Min(the name of China at that time) brought fu. 

 

Fu is made from gluten which is taken from flour.

 

Mixing flour, 80% of water and a little salt, you’ll get gluten and after washing it well and steaming it, you’ll get 生麩(nama-fu means raw fu) which is often eaten in 精進料理(Shojin ryori : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cuisine), means vegetarian food which used to be eaten at temples by priests.

 

Source : https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/精進料理

 

Now we can eat Shojin ryori at some speciality restaurants.
At that time fu was brought, Shojin ryori had an issue of lacking in protein(at that time, tofu and beans were the main source of protein) but thanks to it, they could use it in their food.

 

And how to make kuruma-fu is rolling nama-fu around a metal tube and grill it so it has a hole inside.  

 

車(kuruma) means a car so people named it imaging like a tire.

 

Fu is essential to our traditional cooking and also to vegetarian people for their good source of protein.

 

She cooks kuruma-fu with 磯辺揚げ(isobe-age) which is the way of cooking, : season with soy sauce and wrap with nori which is a kind of sea weed and deep fly them.

 

We enjoyed the crunchiness outside and moistness inside.
The texture is nice and chewy and we loved it a lot.

 

Photo credit : Fumi @fu.mi.nn

 

You may be wondering what kind of rice it is.

 

This is called 酵素玄米(kouso genmai, means brown rice which was fermented).

 

The way of making it is to cook brown rice with azuki beans and a little salt and after cooking it, keep it in the rice cooker for a few days so that the enzyme works to make it tastier and more nutrious.

 

This time, Kaori san turned kouso genmai into tomato risotto with cheese and it was super delicious!!

 

This corn was simply steamed but very tasty and sweet(not seasoned at all!).

 

For the dessert, there are two kinds which are a bar of cheese cake and a chocolate cake.

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

Of course we ordered both and shared. They are so good!

 

Also we ordered coffee with cakes and Koji-san came to Drops bringing aromatic coffee and beautiful cups with him.

 

Photo credit : Fumi @fu.mi.nn

 

While he was pouring coffee, we just enjoyed the aroma.

 

Drops is full of charming antiques, books and flowers which were nicely selected by her and this place makes us feel so relaxed and good. 

 

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

After spending wonderful time eating and talking to my good friends and Kaori-san, we went through Minami aso coffee again and Prin was taking rest in her cage.

 

She was looking at us leaving and it made us feel we didnt want to leave there!!
Drops and Minami aso coffee are my favorite hideaways and I’d love you to experience it!

 

I’m so sure you’ll be a big fan of them.

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

 

【Information and links】

 

どろっぷす(Drops)

 

Address : 5-2-11, Ooe, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-city, Kumamoto-prefecture
(熊本県熊本市中央区大江5-2-11)

 

Tel : 090-5936-4007 

 

 

南阿蘇珈琲(Minami aso coffee)

Official website : http://www.minamiaso-coffee.com

 

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/MinamiasoCoffee/

 

Address : 5-2-11-101, Ooe, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-city, Kumamoto-prefecture

(熊本県熊本市中央区大江5-2-11-101)

 

Tel : 096-371-7807

Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

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テーマの著者 Anders Norén
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