At the heart of Japanese cooking is the principle of shun, using ingredients when they’re in season and as such at the peak of their freshness and flavour.

USING CHOPSTICKS

My sizzling hot chicken Teriyaki with rice and its broth was brought and arranged beautifully.

The arduous struggle of using chopsticks was witnessed at the restaurant as I held them like tongs.

Chicken Teriyaki. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

It is said that how you hold chopsticks reveal how cultivated you are.

The proper way is holding the centre with right hand or holding them with the left hand and bringing the right hand towards the rear end.

The are major don'ts in the use of chopsticks. Some include: joining the two chopsticks together and using them like a spoon; using chopsticks to bring utensils closer towards oneself; grasping the two chopsticks together; transferring food from one set of chopsticks to another; pointing at the dishes with chopsticks while deciding what to eat; holding the chopsticks with one hand each and cutting the food like a knife and fork and lastly, picking away at food such as rice that is stuck on the chopsticks.

JAPANESE TEA

Japanese tea was revitalising and reinvigorating to the whole being.

Japanese tea is a beverage loved worldwide for its taste and medicinal value.

The country’s long history with tea goes back more than 1,000 years when tea drinking was first introduced to Japan from China by Buddhist monks.

Japanese tea. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

Loved for its excellent flavour and benefits to health and wellbeing, tea soon became popular with court nobility and the samurai lifestyle. The tradition of the tea ceremony—called by various names such as chanoyu, chado, and sado—was formed.

TABLE MANNERS

Japanese dining etiquette is mostly about expressing gratitude to the hosts for providing the banquet.

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.

The restaurant's outdoor setup. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

Placing elbows on the food is frowned at and bringing your mouth to the serving dish.

Eating directly from the platter while food is being served on the latter is lack of etiquette.

PRICING

Animal statues at Furusato Japanese Restaurant. PHOTO| TOM MWIRARIA

The food was fairly priced ranging from Sh1200 to Sh2000. Despite what my friend said, I did not break a bank, nor my arm and leg.

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