There are two good reasons for this. In both working class and middle class homes, they do not have a kitchen as we know it. Homes are simply too small, and that means that a dining room is an unknown luxury. So twice a day, around 100 million Japanese folk dine out.
The logistics surrounding the dining trade are therefore of an enormous quantity; given this volume of diners on relatively low salaries, you can be sure that nobody is starving due to high prices.
Office workers choose to lunch at low priced noodle bars, or to buy a ‘Bento' (lunch box) with prices varying from EUR 4-8. Just try to pay those prices in London!
Of course, as in every capital city you will find outrageously expensive food, with a customer profile of a credit card-waving corporate executive twit, or an unwary tourist who knows no better. But these super expensive chophouses are the exception rather than the rule in Japan.
So why, oh why, is Japanese food so expensive in every European country with the exception of France? The answer can only be that the restaurateurs are bluffing the public by presenting their fare as being complex. It is not, and virtually all of the ingredients for a wide variety of classic Japanese dishes
can be found in European supermarkets. So let us look over the new Maiko.
If Japanese courtesy and good business sense prevails, somebody forgot to tell this to the management at Maiko, for they failed on both counts. They have no website (a bad business decision) and when a friend of mine phoned them for an email of their menu to be sent to his office so he could pre-order for a party of 20 of his colleagues, he was told, “No, it is not our company policy.” The fools at Maiko then lost his business as a result!
But on a positive note, Maiko is in the former Casa M restaurant in the heart of Herastrau, so if you have been around long enough to know the famous Casa M, I do not need to describe the d