Wednesdays are gustatory adventure days for my friend Doro and I, and we started with a restaurant near Nanzan University called Mountain (マウンテン). You can reach it from Irinaka or Yagoto Nisseki station after a short walk. Mountain came to our attention after some friends went and returned with tales of having tried a green spaghetti that was sweet... and maccha flavoured! We knew this would be a good place to start. The restaurant has a pretty exterior....
...and decent seating. All of the windows made it overall a really nice place to eat. The service was average - not amazing but not terrible. Smoking is allowed though, so if you're sensitive to it be forewarned. I think most restaurants in Japan allow smoking. Some have separate seating, but from what I've experienced you usually have to walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking.
The menu has quite a variety within three categories: spaghetti, pilaf, and dessert. (Mountain is apparently known for it's sweet spaghetti. Maccha, or strawberry flavoured varieties, for example). There's also a wide selection of drinks (including floats!!). We agreed to have spaghetti and a parfait. Since we were getting a dessert, we opted to skip the famed sweet spaghetti.
These are all the different spaghettis you can order. Is spaghettis a valid word?
I ordered from the "one coin" section - all of the meals there are 500 yen - and decided on matsutake to tori no suupu supa (まつたけととりのスープスパ）. Doro asked for the spiciest spaghetti they had, which was called akai wanpiisu (赤いワンピース） and was not on the menu. (About the menu - it's entirely in Japanese; just a warning in case you can't speak/read it, to bring someone who can).
After a short wait we received our dishes. A slight digression - in America everyone's dishes are usually brought out at the same time. I suppose this is because it's considered rude to begin eating before other people. In Japan, it seems like dishes are brought out when they're ready. Your friend may get their dish a good ten minutes before you do. Anyway, we received our dishes and I realized why they may have named their restaurant Mountain.
It is because you receive a mountain of spaghetti.
This is enough for two, maybe three people. Starting our meal, we noticed a note on the menu which stated that each guest must order something - to discourage sharing, I thought. After receiving our order, I figured we would have done well to have one of us get a spaghetti and the other a parfait, but, well, it just wouldn't have been as fun that way. My mushroom-chicken soup spaghetti (there in the foreground) was delicious and as you can tell from the picture more spaghetti than anyone should be allowed to eat at one sitting.
Doro's Red Dress spaghetti (in the background) was pretty tasty and strangely, in Japan-the-land-of-making-spicy-things-like-Korean-food-unspicy, it was spicy. Spicy enough to make your nose run and your mouth spit fire (please be aware of hyperbole). In fact, the spaghetti was so spicy we decided to order a maccha float to make it bearable. (Read Doro`s personal opinion of her spaghetti made of magma HERE.)
The float was refreshing, and the maccha ice cream had a good, strong flavour. The green liquid is chilled green tea, not a sugary carbonated drink, which made me feel better about eating so much (though I don't know how I could feel guilty for eating something so tasty). It was a nice break from the unrelenting ball of fire that was Doro's spaghetti.The spaghetti and our shared float was enough. It really was. But we had determined to try the parfaits as well. Anyway, what does my stomach know about being full? We each ordered parfaits: Doro got Mango, and I got the Wafuu (Japanese style) parfait.
Wafuu parfait. That's taiyaki on top there. Yeah. It was delicious.
Obviously, it's gigantic. I think the waiter was thoroughly confused and maybe a bit disgusted when we both ordered parfaits. The Wafuu parfait had whipped topping/a cherry/a bit of peach; adzuki and taiyaki throughout; and vanilla and maccha icecream. It made me weep with joy. Doro's was quite good as well, but she wasn't completely satisfied; the mango flavoured syrup on the bottom of the glass had a strange, cloying, bubble-gum-like flavour that neither of us really cared for.
In the end, we were so full it was almost uncomfortable, and quite happy with our experience. I suppose we were a bit disappointed with ourselves (having eaten like 1,000 calories worth of ice cream alone), but that bitter disappointment was easily over-ridden by our raucously celebrating taste-buds. These taste-buds even managed to almost drown out the feeble cries of my overstuffed tummy.
Parfait and float glasses of shame? Or of glory?
We will definitely be going back to try their more exotic sweet spaghetti. Including the fun we had stuffing ourselves, I give Mountain: