"Eno! Shima! Bowl!" Starting May 1st, the noitaminA Shop & Cafe in Daiba's Aqua City mall built a Duck Curry joint just like in Tsuritama. We've got pix and impressions of both the Tsuritama and Kids on the Slope food items, plus the scoop on how to become a member of the DUCK organization. Just make sure you've watched through Episode 3 of Tsuritama if you're worried about spoilers!
Athough it has been raining so much in Tokyo that we almost feel like this:
Yuki drowning in his personal hell...
...we were worried the popularity of the Tsuritama, curry, and duck trifecta might override the weather, so the friend I enlisted to help me eat and I arrived a half hour early. It was pretty calm, though, so we just browsed the store. There is a pile of new merchandise listed for pre-order on the website, but in-store the scene was similar to what we showed you from Shibuya last month, including those Black Rock Shooter jeans. In sum:
Hold your horses—those shows are just starting! According to the website the new merch will drop at the end of May.
The Duck Curry shop they built is pretty detailed:
Members of the DUCK organization doing the pose. More on this later...
The Shirasu Curry does indeed come in a to-go box.
Much like the shop in the show (left) the one they built was also kind of a front. Nearby you could become a member of the DUCK organization, but you couldn't order food. That you had to do at the normal cafe window...
But hey hey, now we're hungry, where's our food? Enoshima, where Tsuritama takes place, is famous for shirasu (baby sardines), so both dishes were quite fishy. They used lightly the lightly boiled kind called "kamāge-shirasu," not raw.
Shirasu Curry ~Duck Curry Original~
This is what DUCK organization members eats behind the scenes at their 'curry shop:'
And here is what I ate for lunch:
Down to the fried potatos and the flag!
It did come with yogurt, like in the show:
Cherry, pineapple, tapioca (like the name of Akira's duck!) on top.
The curry was not really Japanese style, but heading more towards Indian (which makes sense, given that Akira from the DUCK organization is Indian). The yogurt was actually quite handy since the curry itself was on the spicy side. If you want to nit-pick, in the show there is one shot where the egg looks runny (or at least the yolk), but at this cafe it was cooked all the way through.
You can imagine the ones on top of the egg are playing capture the flag.
The shirasu part of the shirasu curry was plain to see and taste. The little dudes were mixed into the rice and also sprinkled on top. As you might guess, baby sardines taste like fish. It's not the same as normal sardines, but definitley enough to give the whole dish a pronounced seafood bent.
Of course, if you really want to enjoy shirasu, why not go with the Shirasu Bowl ~Popular Item at Ganshō Shirasu Tei~?
Here's the lunch set that Akira eats in the show:
And here is what my friend ate:
They nailed it down to the side dishes of seaweed and pickles!
Yeah, a Shirasu Bowl is a bowl of rice topped with shirasu! You pour that sauce (which is a little bit sweet) over the top to add some extra flavor. The thing you can see floating in the miso soup is fu (wheat gluten).
Would you guys eat a pile of baby sardines like that? The shiso (a relative of mint) flavor came through strong.
My friend said it was "a regular shirasu bowl" and upon taking a bite, I had to agree!
We each received an adorrrrable Tsuritama coaster as a gift with our food:
Yuki and Akira, bestowed at random.
Luckily they had them on display at the register, so we can show you all four:
I really wanted Natsuki, but they are all cute!
Time to switch gears! For dessert, it's Kids on the Slope. My friend ordered the Melon Soda & Cream Puff ~Shirayuri Western Style Cake Set~ and we tried not to giggle too much that they typo'd the French-inspired "Choux Cream" as English "Shoe Cream" instead.
The melon soda is topped with 'soft cream' which is not quite the same as American soft serve ice cream. This is a little creamier and lighter, but not to the point of being ultra-cold whipped cream or something like that.
The filling is half cream, half custard, which is a trendy pairing lately in Japanese cream puffs.
By the way, in case you didn't get the reference, Shirayuri is the cake shop at Junichi's house. (It's ok, I had to look it up and I'm even reading the manga.) The dessert I ordered was much easier to understand:
The Strawberry Milk Parfait ~Sentaro T-shirt Style~ was intensely sweet. Although the cookie sticks contained a hint of salt as a tasty counter-point, they did nothing to save me from a hard sugar crash later on.
The layers themselves are probably most simply described as strawberry Jell-o (with that fake strawberry taste) and milk pudding. The consistencies are not 100%, but you get the idea. I liked how when you poked the top layer, the firm gel just pushed the pudding-y layer around.
After eating, all that was left was to get our memberships to the DUCK organization. Near the DUCK Curry stand was this computer kiosk:
"Urgently recruiting DUCK organization members!"
If you input your Twitter handle and a tip on the whereabouts of an alien (taking care to be following the official Tsuritama account beforehand) you would receive a DM containing a thank you message that you could show to the shop staff to receive a membership card:
The acronym cracks me up.
"This card proves you're a member of DUCK. DUCK members, please watch Tsuritama when it's on without missing an episode." The card goes on to explain that failing to assume the DUCK pose upon reporting in could result in the loss of your rights. The hashtag to report alien activity is #duck_report and it's noted that the card itself acts as an AR marker for the free-to-play mobile game Tsuritama AR Fishing. Anyways, wow, I guess we should practice the DUCK pose:
Ok, yeah, I had some isssues, but I think this last one came out ok?!? Please don't revoke my rights!
That's it for this Japan Flavor x noitaminA extravaganza! The Duck Curry special cafe is planned to run until the beginning of July, so you have plenty of time to check it out if you'll be in the area over the next couple months. I can recommend that curry:
Previously on Japan Flavor Report: Lunch at the 30th Anniversary "Macross" Cafe