Eating natto for the first time.

Last weekend, the bf and I decided to give Pasta Zanmai a try. We’ve always hesitated to visit it. Hello??? Japanese style pasta? How can you spoil the delicateness of Japanese ingredients with Italian style cooking? Obviously my lack of understanding has deprived me of good food for a long time. We’ve only recently decided to give the place a try after seeing Kerol twitted it. If that’s only one thing that you can trust from me, is that Kerol’s tastebuds are always spot on.

When I opened the menu, I was in awe. Everything looked so delicious! What caught my eyes though was the mentaiko and natto pasta. Mentaiko is a kind of marinated spicy fish roe and I love it for its distinct peppery taste. As for natto, I have never tasted it before but I’ve seen videos of people eating natto – they looked like they rather be skinned alive than putting natto into their mouths. And that’s precisely the reason why I ordered the dish.

I wanted to find out how disgusting it is. Just preserved soybeans, what the big deal?

Eating natto for the first time.
Look absolutely scrumptious but is terror lurking within?

The bf ordered something safe – Japanese beef curry rice. I had a taste, it was very good. Big portion with a lot of gravy.

Eating natto for the first time.
Smells heavenly but oh so boring…

We also ordered a side grilled squid just in case I couldn’t eat my main. It was perfectly grilled and you can pop it on its own with no condiments.

Eating natto for the first time.
Grilled to perfection.

Without further ado, let me present, a properly mixed mentaiko natto pasta:

Eating natto for the first time.

Those foams you see wrapping every single strand of noodle taste exactly how it looks, slimy, viscous and sticky.

I took my first bite. It tasted like I regurgitated my phlegm and swallowed it back again. You know, when it’s not convenient to spit and you decided to swallow it back – salty aftertaste and all. Natto tasted exactly like that. It was interesting. I took another bite.

As I continued eating, I could taste the mild spiciness of the mentaiko already well-mixed into the pasta and natto. How do I put it? Eating mentaiko natto pasta is like chasing a climax that never arrived. One spoonful after another, the taste of mentaiko titillated my tastebuds ever so slightly and I kept wishing that the following spoon would give me a full mentaiko sensory assault. But it never came.

What came instead was a new found appreciation for natto. Yes, it tasted exactly like spit or worse…regurgitated phlegm. But this is precisely the reason why I WILL ORDER mentaiko natto pasta again.

Eating natto for the first time.

Because I’m a pervert.

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No 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Bandar Utama Damansara,
47800 Petaling Jaya.
TEL: 03 – 7728 1210

11 thoughts on “Eating natto for the first time.”

  1. Hah! A client from Japan when I was doing Corp Comms in Sibu asked for natto. We weren’t really sure what it was. There is an equivalent in Chinese and we were scrambling like mad to get it.

    …and I’m hungry from your post. :S

  2. speechless… ball’ess me… hahahah ky dared me to do it… from the way he sounded…. it’s like a dare that i surely would not get through…

    bravo one having the balls kim! :P

  3. hb: apparently natto is originated in korea. did u find the chinese equivalent? i know we have the yellow preserved beans (tau pan jeong) used for steaming spare ribs but it’s not disgusting at all!

    myhorng: wah so hardcore ah! lets do it i wanna see you eat it haha

    saikua: it’s not that bad! u just have to get pass the sliminess.

    ky: lol i do love mentaiko…with piping hot rice yum yum

    z: haha it sure did.

    crash: it was a very interesting dish, that’s all i have to say :)

  4. I tried Natto at a buffet spread, no doubt a most acquired taste.
    Even worse than petai, budu, cincalok, fu yee, or durian.
    The stickiness alone is rather repulsive.

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