Friday, June 12, 2009
Variety Friday: Domino's Hot Sub Procured
In last week's Variety Friday post, I mentioned that my husband and I were planning on giving Domino's new hot subs a try. I had actually planned on adding a bit to the end of that post talking about our experience, but something strange happened on the way to the pizza place.
There's a Domino's about a 3 or 4 minute walk from our apartment. It's a really tiny place with an entryway that is about as big as two phone booths stacked side by side, but there's enough of a kitchen behind it to do what they have to do to serve and deliver pizza to our neighborhood. When we walked down there around 1:00 pm, it was locked up tight. Since it is open 7 days a week, and at lunch time, this was a bit strange. In fact, there was a Japanese man who was clearly lurking outside waiting to see if they opened. After a short wait, he started trying to call the shop on his cell phone to no avail. We gave up pretty quickly and walked away. This is why this is a separate review rather than an addendum to last week's post.
Today, we had better luck around the same time of day and procured our sandwiches. My husband also ordered their rather pricey "juicy fried chicken" (at about $5 (510 yen) for only 4 small pieces) because he wasn't confident that the sandwiches were going to have enough meat to satisfy him. The people who took our order were very nice and energetic and fielded my husband's questions about whether or not mayonnaise (which he dislikes) was on the meat sub. I should note that you have to be very careful about asking such questions in Japan because even raising the point often makes them conclude that you want the food you're asking about. He had to make sure they knew he didn't want mayonnaise because the first thing they assumed was that he was asking to have mayo added to the sandwich. The exchange was something like this:
Husband: Does the meat sub have mayo?
Helpful clerk1: No, it doesn't.
Helpful clerk2: Yes, we have mayonnaise!
Husband: No, no, I don't want mayonnaise, I want to know if you put it on usually.
Helpful clerk2: No, not usually, but we can!
Husband: No, no, I don't want any.
I think this type of response comes from an overzealous desire to please the customer's every wish if it is at all possible.
There are sites which specialize in showing you how food looks on the packaging or in the advertising as compared to the real thing. The outside of our sandwiches really did resemble the ones in the advertisement (pictured at the top of this post), though they were toasted a bit more darkly and had cheese running down them in a few spots.
I ordered the roasted chicken hot sub with the full knowledge that it might not have all that much chicken. I would call the chicken quantity barely adequate. The bread was nice, fresh and crispy and the cheese good and gooey. The chicken was moist and nice white meat. The chicken was smothered in pesto mayonnaise and topped with melted cheese. I've mentioned before that mayonnaise is like the 4th food group in Japan. They love it to pieces, but I certainly could have done with a lot less of this. In fact, mostly, all I could taste was the pesto mayo with glimpses of the chicken.
My husband's meat sub was closer to a pizza sandwich and had more meat although the slices of the three types of meat were pretty thin. On the bottom is pizza sauce then what the Japanese call "pepperoni salami" (which is not the same as pepperoni in the U.S.), then "fresh ham" (not heavily cured), and finally the weird ass Japanese "wieners" that have a funky taste all their own. I didn't sample it, but my husband liked this and said he'd buy it again, even given the somewhat heavy price tag for a 15 cm (6 inch) sandwich.
Strangely, the meat sub was the cheapest of the sandwiches at 550 yen (about $5.50) despite clearly having more meat than the roast chicken which was 680 yen (about $6.75). Usually, meat is the priciest element of any food order here. I guess that they were charging me more for the heaping helping of pesto mayonnaise. At any rate, while I would be willing to try one of these subs again, I won't be giving the roast pesto mayonnaise with a side of chicken a shot again. I'd probably try the jalapeno next time, provided they don't discontinue these before I get around to having another.