Georgian restaurant opens in Japan
01 August, 2017
Georgian restaurant opens in Japan
Recently, a Georgian wine bar-restaurant opened in Osaka, Japan. As we found out, the Georgian cuisine and Japanese taste perfectly pair each other. The person behind the Georgian restaurant is Mariam Inaba (Georgian surname- Bezhanishvili), a successful Georgian lady who brought national flavor to a foreign country.

Georgian Journal contacted Mariam who elaborated on her business in Japan.

geotv.ge
Mariam Inaba with her husband

-What was
the main goal of your trip to Japan?


-I left for Japan after graduating from the Free University, to study there at 3 year master's program, which was completely financed by the Ministry of Education of Japan. One can apply for this program only once a year. I tried twice, I did not give up and finally, on the third try I made through it. I started learning Japanese language at the age of 11-12, I had the best teacher and I am very grateful to her, because her contribution in my success is really great.

- How did you come up with an idea of opening Georgian restaurant in Japan?

- It was my dream to do something little in the name of my country. I wanted my country to be known by as much people as possible. I am overwhelmed of explaining that I am not from the U.S. state of Georgia.

In general, for foreigner it is very difficult to start a business in Japan, especially if you are just a “simple mortal” and do not have a circle of influential acquaintances.
Subsequently, my husband and I could not take a risk of opening a restaurant or even a small café. However, we found ourselves at the right time at the right place, where we met my current boss, a very kind person who is in love with Georgia. He told us that he wanted to open Georgian wine bar with Georgian cuisine. Our ideas and interests matched each other, so we decided to work together.

Starting from scratch is very difficult but interesting at the same time. I have been working from 21 July without any rest, but even this tiredness brings pleasure to me.

geotv.ge

-How well Georgian cuisine and Japanese taste fit with each other?

- As you know, Georgian cuisine is rich in herbs and spices, that is a novelty to Japanese people. However, I try to adjust some dishes to their taste, but once they get used to Georgian cuisine, I will offer them our real flavor. Additionally, I have Georgian cookbooks in the restaurant and I always show them how the dishes look in reality, how much herbs or walnuts are necessary to prepare them. So our customers’ interest increases even more.

geotv.ge

- Which Georgian dishes do you serve at the restaurant and which of them is the most popular with Japanese guests?

- Currently we have a trial period from 27 July to 10 August, and we do not have a specific menu yet, but our Japanese guests like what have prepared so far such as: like mushrooms (soko ketsze) cooked with cheese in the pot called ketsi, shkmeruli (chicken in creamy garlic sauce) , Khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread) and traditional cucumber and tomato salad with Kakhetian oil (sunflower oil from Georgia’s Kakheti Region), Svanetian salt (salt mixed with spices from Svaneti) and walnuts most of all.

One of the most important concepts and the top priority of the restaurant is natural, organic vegetables. Accordingly, I select each vegetable and product with my own hands from special organic vegetable stores and farms.

geotv.ge

At this stage, we satisfy our customer’s expectations and needs and it makes me happy. Every day I prepare meals with great pleasure and joy.

Author: Bedisa Dumbadze

Related stories:

Georgian restaurant opens in Amsterdam

First Georgian bar-restaurant opens in Dusseldorf

Georgian-Italian couple introducing Georgian cuisine to Milan



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