Ripples of “NAGANO” through Jah - 3 WEEKS OF NAGANO in Copenhagen –
For three weeks starting March 4, 2024, Jah Izakaya & Sake Bar, a popular Japanese izakaya in the lively neighborhood of Vesterbro in Copenhagen, offered a special limited-time menu featuring Nagano Prefecture specialties created by Chef Kimura.

Jah Izakaya is an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant led by chef, Mr. Kimura, along with the local staff who cherish Japanese cuisine. Despite the difference in language, the comfortable distance between the seats next to you and the attentiveness of the staff create a wonderful atmosphere that will make you feel as if you are in Japan.
Mid March was a perfect moment to indulge in the special Nagano Prefecture menu. Even in the early evening, the restaurant was quickly filled with local Danish customers. Listening in, customers’ voices asking for the Omakase course could be heard, and it seemed that many were interested in this Nagano event. Some customers came for this special menu, while others placed their orders after listening to the waiter’s explanation and seemed excited to discover something new.
First on the table was a grilled Hiramasa sunfish frosting with apple dressing and ‘Oyaki (Japanese Dumpling)’, the soul food of the people of Nagano. The Oyaki was filled with locally sourced mushrooms and vegetables, which made it familiar and easily accepted by the Danish customers. There was a lingering anticipation that it will become a staple dish also in Copenhagen in the future.
Inside the restaurant, where the fusion of fresh local ingredients from Copenhagen and Nagano Prefecture merge, the atmosphere was full of excitement. Customers were curious about what Oyaki is as it is their first time seeing it; questions asking “What is Oyaki?” to which Jah politely explained to the customers. It seemed that Nagano’s food culture was slowly and surely growing its root in Copenhagen.
After, miso soup with a variety of ingredients and Sanzoku Yaki (a style of grilled chicken) )were served, followed by salmon marinated in miso and Nozawana pickles. Nozawana, one of the Nagano ingredients used this time, was an interesting ingredient for the Danish local staff. “When I first saw it, I thought it looked like spinach, but when I tried it, it was something else entirely; the sensation of the Umami spreading in your mouth is addictive. I’m very sad that I won’t be able to eat nozawana once this special menu is over.” The restaurant’s staff was also very impressed with the dish.
Another dish, Shinshu soba (buckwheat noodles), was served to showcase another pivotal ingredient produced in Nagano Prefecture.
When asked if one can purchase this soba in Copenhagen, Jah staff replied, “This is made with buckwheat from Nagano, Japan. It’s very different from others, isn’t it? You can rarely get it in Copenhagen.” Through the waiters’ enthusiasm, the charm of Nagano’s specialties was conveyed.
Nagano Prefecture is a strong producer of many traditional ingredients such as soba, miso and many more that represent Japanese cuisine. Through this event in Copenhagen, it has left a strong and lasting impression of Nagano in the hearts of many. Perhaps they might begin to sprout a sense of curiosity to visit such a place where all these newly discovered foods exist.
After the meal, a few customers here and there put their hands together and mouthed the words “Gochisoso-sama” (thank you for the food). It was heartwarming to see the Japanese mindset firmly in place among the locals.
The event was hosted by Chef Kimura of Jah, which serves a variety of Japanese food in an izakaya style, and the local staff who love Japan. It was a wonderful evening and a glimpse of the beginning of the spread of the culture of Nagano Prefecture to Copenhagen.
Jah Izakaya & Sake Bar
ADDRESS : Gasværksvej 21, Copenhagen, Denmark
TEL : (+45) 38 41 27 21

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