When you get a pasta craving, the last thing you’ll think to hit is a Japanese restaurant. But after trying Yomenya Goemon, my cravings have transformed from spaghetti to supageti. Yomenya Goemon is a Japanese restaurant chain that serves up pasta the way Japan has embraced it. Unapologetically Japanese.
The first dish I pick from their menu is the Mentaiko pasta. It featured mentaiko or spicy cod roe, shrimp, mushrooms, shredded seaweed, and shiso, a minty Japanese herb. I’ve tried instant sauce versions of this before and while I love the instant versions, actually trying it for real is so much nicer. It’s buttery with a hint of the sea. The raw mentaiko comes in a small clump, but mixed with the hot pasta, it cooks a bit so you can get a mix of cooked mentaiko and raw, depending on how much you stir it in.
The mentaiko pasta is actually part of a set that featured half-servings of two pasta dishes instead of one big one. The other half of my set featured a sausage, bacon & beef chorizo pasta with chili tomato sauce. This was a pleasant contrast to the mentaiko, being meaty and solid, especially when compared to the light mentaiko. The chili is bearable but surprisingly a bit spicier than one would expect from a Japanese restaurant.
If you think the Italian-Japanese concept is already surprising, can you imagine mixing in Pinoy, too? That’s exactly the case with their Crab, shrimp & scallop with Crab Paste. Yes, aligue pasta in a Japanese-Italian pasta place. Yomenya Goemon’s version is buttery and fishy, bordering on the oily actually, but I still enjoyed it. It was a struggle finishing the full order, especially since we had other dishes too. Fortunately, it reheated nicely the next day and I was back in pasta heaven.
While the appeal of the dishes vary, the fact that it all came with perfectly executed pasta scores Yomenya Goemon highly in my book. The al dente pasta was wonderful and served as a perfect vehicle for the interesting sauce combinations. Even if it’s only for this, Yomenya Goemon is worth repeat visits.