Nagarekawa’s all night “stubborn street stall” food court
Ganko Yatai is a lively and somewhat unique place in Hiroshima, well-known among nite owls and night workers. The name, which literally means “stubborn food stalls”, probably comes from the fact that the place never sleeps. Ganko Yatai has been open until 7 or 8 in the morning, 6 nights a week, for over two decades! If you have the late night munchies and are in need of a nightcap, you should definitely give this place in the heart of Hiroshima’s nightlife district a try.
Ganko Yatai consists of 7 stalls: (clockwise from the entrance) Nonki sushi, Kazu inaka ryōri (rural food) & oden, Tajima okonomiyaki and teppanyaki, Heiwa-en Chinese food, Yotchan teppanyaki, Ittetsu grill and charcoal-grilled food, and Mensōre yakitori grilled chicken.
You can enjoy a wide variety of specialities and it’s fine to order from any of the stalls, wherever you may be seated. Although open from early evening, Ganko Yatai doesn’t usually get lively until around 4am! Sure, it’s a bit messy and can get quite loud, but that all adds to the atmosphere. It’s a distinctly shitamachi downtown crowd. You’ll bump into a lot of club hostess and hosts, bar and restaurant staff after work, as well as people at the end of a night out. The age range is pretty wide too. Nobody speaks English and there are no English menus, but dive in and there’s a good chance you’ll have a lot of fun and find yourself chatting with other customers squeezed onto your bench. You may even end up even sharing food with them!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the stalls!
Nonki sushi [のんき]
The chef is quite shy but famous for exclaiming “whoooooyyyhhhaaaa!” when handing you your (if you go too late enough). Large selection of nigiri-sushi (¥150 to ¥800), sashimi, maki-zushi, grilled fish and shellfish, tataki, tempura and other small dishes. I really like the crab gratin!
Many types of homestyle food, but it’s best known for its oden and カリポン gari-pon (crunchy pig’s throat cartilage (yum!) in citrusy ponzu sauce).
Popular place for Chinese dishes. 手羽先唐揚げ Tebasaki-karaage (battered chicken wings), マーボー豆腐 Mābō-dōfu (tofu in meat sauce), and 肉ダンゴ Niku-dango (meat balls) are the top recommendations, and other staples such as such as gyoza and ramen are also available.
Teppan dishes such as meat, entrails, aspara(gus)-bacon, fresh and grilled vegetables plus dishes with melted cheese (tomato cheese bacon, cheese salmon, cheese potato etc).
Okonomiyaki and teppan dishes.
Grilled meat, fish, oysters, shrimps, mentaiko spicy fish roe, Yama-imo cheese yaki…
Mensore [めんそーれ ]
Yakitori (meat, seafood and vegetable kebabs)
Read this article in French on Judith’s blog.