Kyoto Shimbun 2013.7.23 News

Kyoto Specialty "Kinugasa-don" Gains Nationwide Popularity
Nakau Targets Women

"Kinugasa-don" or rice bowl with fried tofu and green onion cooked with lightly beaten egg, is becoming popular nationwide beyond its home, Kyoto. Nakau Co., Ltd., a major beef rice bowl restaurant chain, added "Kinugasa-don" to its regular menu as a new dish targeting women, in all of its restaurants from around July 26. The day may soon come when this popular dish among the locals in Kyoto City will gain nationwide popularity.

Kinugasa-don is derived from the legend of Kinugasa-yama mountain near "Kinkaku-ji," or the Golden Pavilion, in Kita Ward. In the Heian Period, Emperor Uda had the mountain covered with white silk to make it look like a snowcapped mountain, and enjoyed the winter scenery in summer. It is said that Kinugasa-don was named because the eggs on top of the rice look like that legendary scene.

There are records remaining that show Kinugasa-don was listed on the menu of buckwheat noodle restaurants as early as the Meiji Period. Since then it has become established as a popular rice bowl dish.

In addition to its most famous dishes, Japanese-style beef rice bowl and udon noodles, Nakau's menu also has "oyako-don," or chicken and egg rice bowl, and "katsu-don" or pork cutlet rice bowl. When they were seeking to increase their rice bowl menu, they focused on Kinugasa-don, a very familiar rice bowl in its birthplace, the Kansai area. Kyoto's traditional rice bowl is made with simple ingredients such as fried tofu and green onion. The price of a regular size bowl is 390 yen. Starting from June 26, it began to be added to the regular menu of all 482 Nakau restaurants (as of the end of June) across Japan. The public relations office of Zensho Holdings Co., Ltd, Toyo, the parent company of Nakau, said, "This targets women who aren't such big fans of meat. As a Japanese-style fast food, we would like to make it as popular as oyako-don."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= Nakau's regular menu addition, Kinugasa-don (Nakau Karasuma-Ebisugawa restaurant, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto)