So here’s the story. Last weekend, I went to Nagasaki to go see a movie and decided that I would try a place called Ramen Masa, recommended to me by one of my students. I love a good restaurant recommendation from someone who knows the area well, but as it turns out, Ramen Masa just wasn’t for me. They all can’t be winners, right?
Ramen Masa is a tiny izakaya type ramen shop that seats only 8-10 people at a time with servers running around and yelling orders across the bar. It’s definitely geared more towards the salarymen/male crowd. So, needless to say, sitting elbow to elbow among 7 other men during lunchtime who seemed to be competing to slurp down their ramen the quickest, I felt completely out of my element. But, HEY it’s always good to try new things. As for the food, the portions are huge and packed with meats and vegetables. No complaints there. The thing that really turned me off was how oily/greasy the broth was. It tasted cheap like something one might eat after a long night of endless drinking. Overall, Ramen Masa gets a 10 for atmosphere but 4 for food.
What I didn’t foresee is finding a cute cafe for dessert on the 5th floor of Coco Walk, a popular department store in Nagasaki. For as many times as I’ve been to Coco Walk, I’m surprised I didn’t happen across this place sooner. Mango Cafe is the name, and it reminds me of the kind of cafe one might find tucked away in a tourist-free corner of NYC with a roster of regular customers from the neighborhood.
Mango Cafe is actually a Thai restaurant, but I sprang for dessert instead. If I’m going to recommend any of the foods I ate that day, it’s without a doubt the matcha waffle. It comes with matcha ice cream, mochi, sweet red bean, whipped cream, and powdered sugar on top. It’s a very decadent dessert but not too sweet, a killer combination. Also, it pairs nicely with iced jasmine tea in the summertime. This is great spot to relax/take a break from shopping or chill out before the next movie starts (there’s a movie theater on the 6th floor).