When I spotted the restaurant sign saying “Slow Food Slow Life” I just had to eat there. Peeking inside, I could see that it was packed with young Japanese and no tables were free. But I went back the following evening, nice and early and grabbed a table. This was Okayama, off the beaten track, and none of the waiting-on staff spoke English. But a friendly crowd at the next table told me that the set menu consisted of a selection of Okayama specialities, so of course I ordered that. The photo below shows the first course. I’ve no idea what it was, and I can’t say it was delicious, but it was good to try it. Several more courses followed, including diced ham, and noodles with sliced pork, all of it good. The menu, for anyone who can read Japanese, is reproduced below. The cost of 3,500 yen equates to £21.
The idea of Slow Food/Slow Life is very appealing to the Japanese. The Slow Food movement is more popular in Japan than anywhere in the world outside Italy, and it’s easy to see why, because, like Italy, Japan is dominated by small organic farms. Every region has its own specialities and I enjoyed trying Okayama’s, even if I didn’t really know what I was eating.