In Summary
  • My curiosity perked as I arrived at a place where a rich aroma wafted down and beckons you. The dining room was exquisite, with a warm ambience of orange lighting, and gripping murals from the Far East.
  • For many centuries, meat eating was forbidden in Japan owing to the Buddhist tradition, and Shojin ryori. The traditional vegetarian meals served in Buddhist temples, considerably influenced the cuisine of the time.
  • The basic manners while enjoying Japanese meal is disregarding the presentation of the food such as scouring through the ingredients to eat specific ingredients and leaving the rest of the food.

hI was on hunt for a Japanese restaurant in Nairobi, to experience the Jap cuisine culture that has unique place in the world.

Furusato restaurant in Parklands was immediately recommended by a friend who at the same time advised me that eating there would cost me an arm and leg and I would live like a pauper for a year.

AMBIENCE

My curiosity perked as I arrived at a place where a rich aroma wafted down and beckons you.

The dining room was exquisite, with a warm ambience of orange lighting, and gripping murals from the Far East.

Fabulous cream curtains were slightly opened to let in the scented evening air and allow a view of floral garden from the outdoor set-up.

Each table had a bloom of flower and the polished silver cutlery was methodically placed on the draped tables and shone brightly in the modest-warm light.

Interior decor of Furusato, Japanese Restaurant in Parklands. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

At each place stood pearly ceramic ware and there were beautifully folded crimson napkins to match the runner.

Japanese salad with broth. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

THE GUESTS AND CUISINE

The guests, mostly of Far East origin, were breezing in groups and couples. They settled in with animated chatter.

The servers, all young people dressed in white tunics move wordlessly to and from tables, keeping the platters and glasses full. Ocean creatures drizzled in sauces or begging to be dipped in spicy concoctions.

Chefs preparing Japanese cuisine. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

I was still blown away by how much thought goes into the preparation, and appreciation of Japanese food.

A tall, smiley waiter stood stiffly in his starched white shirt and black bow-tie as I perused the menu and finally ordered Chicken Teriyaki.

Before the much awaited Teriyaki, a Japanese salad was brought. One characteristic of Japanese cuisine is its use of dashi broth prepared with ingredients including young corn, dried bonito flakes, kelp, or boiled and dried fish to produce umami, which gives the basic flavour of pungency, sweetness, saltiness and bitterness.

Japanese Salad with broth. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

Japanese cuisine is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world. Meals comprise of a generous portion of vegetable based dishes and salad.

For many centuries, meat eating was forbidden in Japan owing to the Buddhist tradition, and Shojin ryori.

The traditional vegetarian meals served in Buddhist temples, considerably influenced the cuisine of the time.

The Buddhist influence is still evident in the modern Japanese food, with vegetables playing an important part everyday dining.

The concept of ichi ju san sai meaning “one soup and three side dishes”–miso soup and three vegetable side dishes–accompanied by rice and a main protein such as fish is regarded as a balanced diet by the Japanese.

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