Saturday, 14 April 2012

Keiba lunch

The other day after wandering through Sarue Onishi park we went in search of something to eat. Kinshicho has several Thai restaurants, and not having had a Thai curry for much too long, it seemed like a great idea.  Wandering wandering trying to find  a little one I'd been to several years ago we walked past a place whose food made Hiro's eyes light up - a window with displays of soba, curry soba, tonkatsu (deep fried, crumbed pork, katsudon (deep fried crumbed pork with egg), kaki fry (deep fried oyster) and other such delectables.... I don't mind katsudon - twice a year or so - and it wasn't a chain... so in we went. Upon entering it was clear that the target market was the keiba crowd - people that spend their day at the TAB (horse racing betting place) around the corner.
Try as it might, the Japan Racing Association has not managed to cultivate a genteel image of racing. Horses are more likely to be eaten here than to be pets or companions.   Rather than Spring and Autumn racing carnivals, Ascot and Flemington, champagne breakfasts,  fashion of the field, coiffure and millinery, the image is of  slightly dodgy, shabbily dressed, cigarette smoking men shuffling along with a folded form guide under their arm; a wander through the JRA betting halls confirms it... if I could manage an interest in either horseracing or gambling, I just might fit in.

Horse races live

Manga for in between races
Staples - a "peace" ashtray, toothpicks, pepper and chili powder.
A hidey hole for the condiments
Soy, furikake, tonkatsu sauce, chili flakes
Hot tea
Haute cuisine, curry udon, pickles, 
Books to peruse 
Katsudon, soup and daikon pickles
(Katsujuu actually)
Betting forms on the window sill
Studying the form guide
Out front
The place next door advertising that they have a broadcast of
the horse racing, obviously an attraction.
The Kinshicho horse racing betting  place  - JRA Wins
(or not win as might more likely be the case).


Rurousha said...

"Slightly dodgy, shabbily dressed, cigarette smoking men shuffling along with a folded form guide" is SO true.

If you go to the Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, you'll see those same guys ... but also couples on a date and ordinary families enjoying a picnic next to the track. The track itself is a bit less dodgy than the betting halls.

Yes. Blush. Horse fanatic here! I never bet, but I love watching horses. Deep Impact was my hero. :)

Anyway. This post kept me grinning throughout. I'm trying to imagine you amongst the betting oyaji. I bet (!) none of them even noticed you; they were too glued to their forms! Right? :D

Cecilia said...

Hiro is a keiba oyaji... well he would be if I let him be.

I'm the only person in my family with no interest in horses or horse racing. I can't even remember the Melbourne cup date which puts me in an utterly "Unaustralian" category.

Hiro is also adamant the Fuchu track is quite interesting...for some reason I've never been - though not through prejudice.

And you're right, no-one noticed I was there. :)

Theresa said...

I loved this post!

Cecilia said...

Something to do with it being about food perhaps! Your food posts give me kitchen envy.

Rurousha said...

Maybe you should surprise Hiro with an invitation to Fuchu. How about the Japanese Derby? Sunday 27 May. ^^

Rurousha said...

Listen, just by the way ... you did watch "The man from Snowy River", didn't you?

DIDN'T YOU?! o_0

Cecilia said...

Gomen, I forgot to reply - after waiting to ask Hiro. His response "why that weekend, it's on in Chiba this weekend"... (if I remember correctly)

Oh.. ok..

He says he lost a lot of money on the Fuchu track in his misspent youth... He's quite sure he won't pick up bad habits again if he goes again! If I put on my anthropology hat it might be interesting ;) Actually I am quite interested to go - once. :)

I have a family full of avid horse race fans... I got a recessive gene. :)

And I do love the Man from Snowy River - but his horses weren't running round a track mindlessly... :)