I love red bean soup. When I was a kid, red bean soup made a regular appearance at home during the weekends. My mom liked to serve this dessert because it is easy to prepare, tasty and the ingredients are inexpensive. She would add a little dried orange peel to the dessert just to give the flavour some zing.
I found this little shop called Nakashu Zenzai in the next alley from Karo No Udon that serves an excellent oshiruko, a sweet adzuki bean soup with mochi. I would hop over for dessert after getting my fill of udon. I have tried oshiruko in several places in Japan, and found them too sweet for my liking. However, the version served in Nakashu Zenzai is perfect for me, and comes with shiratama dango. My eyes instantly light up whenever I see or hear the word ‘shiratama‘.
Run by an elderly couple and their daughter, the shop has a very small menu. Besides the oshiruko, the other option is ozenzai – sweet adzuki bean soup with mochi. They also serve cold versions of oshiruko and ozenzai, which are sweet adzuki paste topped with mochi or shiratama dango and ice cream. I did not order the cold versions on any of my visits because I enjoyed the hot oshiruko too much to be tempted to try something else. They also serve a small side dish of a delicious sweet wakame with the oshiruko. I don’t recall what it is called but the wakame’s sweetness enhances the taste of the oshiruko.
This is another place that I cannot wait to visit again! Shame that I do not have the exact address of the shop because I misplaced the namecard that they gave me. But it is located just at the side alley leading to the Kawabata Shopping Arcade from Kokutai Road.