Nobister EAT-IN & BAR Nobister
I would like to introduce to you a vegetarian and vegan cafe/bar in Nagasaki city, opened by owner Nobi (Nobuko Kanaumi) who once lived in Miami, Florida for four years. The cafe/bar can help compensate a diet lacking in vegetables, and is also great for travelers who need to adjust their condition. The menu is safe for vegetarian and vegan travelers from overseas. They open at 7 A.M., so it is also perfect for breakfast.
The concept is “GET ENERGY! SIMPLE FOOD!”
Nobi claims that her consciousness towards health management changed completely after her valuable experience in Florida, an open city where skies are blue. While travelling in New York, she once visited a famous macrobiotic restaurant loved by Hollywood actresses. There, she found herself thinking “these are basically Japanese daily dishes” (lol). This lead to her realization that the most advanced food known to support the body already existed on the table tops at Nagasaki, where she once lived. After returning to Japan, she decided to open a cafe/bar in her hometown Nagasaki, basing the menu on a vegetable centered diet, which she followed herself and gained surprisingly great health results. It is located in a prime location next to the Bunmeido head office which was founded in 1900.
Simple cuisine prepared with vegetables of Nagasaki and homemade natural salt
Nobi’s dishes incorporate concepts discovered in Florida, and uses homegrown organic vegetables and seasonal vegetables which are safe for the body. They also use natural salt which is made by repeatedly drawing Nobozaki seawater with the hiragama method, diligently removing impurities, then sun-drying. I was surprised to hear that this salt is homemade by Nobi’s father and husband.
Popular dish, Nobi-veggie soup (500 yen. The set is 850 yen and includes a drink and side menu such as bread)
This is their standard Nobi style soup, a simple soup seasoned only with salt. The simple taste which brings out the flavors of the vegetables is soothing to the body. A simple soup like this is what should be considered truly luxurious!! You can add some natural homemade salt to your liking, but my taste is simple so I was able to enjoy the natural flavors of the vegetables and salt as it is. The soup is also great for resetting the digestive system, healing the body from stress accumulated from everyday life. The Nobi-veggie soup is also available for breakfast.
This is their natural homemade salt, Nobi-Salt
Their minestrone soup, which is their soup of the day, in a Le Creuset pot (500 yen per serving). It is filled with seasonal vegetables which are mainly homegrown.
It is difficult to follow a balanced diet or eat enough vegetables when eating out. That is why Nobister is appreciated by many travelers and those who have a busy lifestyle. More and more travelers have been visiting Japan, but there are not many vegetarian or vegan restaurants compared to other countries. Because Nobi has experience living overseas, she is able to prepare a menu which meets the demands of many. The cafe/bar suits this town, opening doors to welcome foreigners.
Their brown rice vegetarian set (880 yen. Includes a brown rice ball + miso soup with plenty of vegetables + weekly side dish + large salad + drink)
On their menu is a vegan prepared made with carefully selected spices, which doesn’t use any animal protein (meat fish, etc.), dairy products, eggs, or honey. The light and refreshing soup-like curry does not slow down the body like some heavy curry does. Meals which are good for digestion do not burden the body, and recommendable to those who have an important appointment later in the day.
Vegan curry (1,200 yen. Includes salad + drink)
Of course, they also have meat entrees.
Vegetable cutlet set (1,200 yen. Includes vegetables Cutlet + pork cutlet + brown rice + vegetable miso soup + drink). Pork mille-feuille can be removed (-100 yen) for vegetarians. Soup can also be changed.
Enjoy their homemade natural yeast bread for breakfast. Open for lunch, and also transforms into a bar at night.
Nobister’s bread, baked with homemade natural yeast, does not use dairy products (milk, butter, margarine), eggs, or white sugar. It is safe for those who have egg or dairy allergy, and also appreciated by vegans. I purchased their fig bread, a dense bread with great texture created by the figs. Their bread is only available for sale on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The store is a modest size with eight counter seats and one table for two, seating ten people in total. They open at 7 A.M. in the morning, and also operate as a bar at night. Beer and wine from throughout the world is served during bar hours, and the door charge is 1,500 yen including one drink and a dish.
During the era of national isolation, Nagasaki was the only town open to the world. This explains their delicious cuisine formed by the diversity in their food culture. Within this town, Nobister’s meals act as a great resting place to reset your body, presenting a new style to a historical town. Nobi grows vegetables in her own farm, and even holds sporting events. Closing dates are irregular, so please make sure to check store hours on their website. I was not able to experience their breakfast during this trip, but I would definitely like to stop by the next time I am here. A new bridge will be completed next year in the Nagasaki Dejima neighborhood, expected to draw even more attention to the town. I highly recommend stopping by at Nobister when you are in the area.
Text: Mayumi Kotsubo
Picture: Mayumi Kotsubo
Translation: Yukie Haneda