Mangalore to have a Japanese Cafe soon!
When we think of Mangalore Cafes all we think of is the ‘Cafe Coffee day’s around and maybe the sedentary Cafe Ola at Bharath Mall.
But very soon the Monoi family will change this for us. Fumiko and Masahiro Monoi, a Japanese couple who have been in Mangalore since late 2012 are in Mangalore city to promote Japanese culture and create a niche for their little girl Yuki.
The Monoi’s arrived in Mangalore October last year, after the suggestion of a close friend Mr Masimoto. Masimoto who was completing his studies in USA had befriended a Mangalorean Sadashiva Adiga. Adiga has been an influence ever since.
They stated the reason of Mangalore as a choice because of the weather which is cooler even doing the monsoons unlike back home in Japan. They also said that Mangalore being a smaller city it would be easier for them to expand their businesses.
As we entered the beautiful residence of Sai grandeur in Bejai, We felt as though we entered a different time zone, for once no bright tube-lights which glares in every Mangalorean household ! Japanese art and beautiful lanterns, minimalist furniture adorned the Monoi home.
As we sat down at the table to have a chat, Fumiko immediately started being the perfect hostess and ran off to get us a delicious cup of filter coffee. We were then served a huge helping of cakes of different sorts; banana coco cake, raisin pudding cake and the famous Doremon fav ‘Dora cake’. The Dora Cake was the most delicious, which had a pancake-bun look filled with a red bean filling.
Among the two of them Masahiro specializes in sushi and its varied forms while Fumika is considered as the baker and her specialty with sweets.
Masahiro went on the explain the different types of Sushi such as Maki Sushi, Nigiri sushi and temaki. We were given to taste a bit of the ‘Nori’ which is the edible seaweed species used as a base for sushi. He also said that Sushi is considered as an art form due to the intricate method of making sushi.
Masahiro and Fumika in the future will definitely add on sushi and other Japanese specialties to the menu after the success of a cafe.
Masahiro is also an expert of the Japanese seasoning product ‘Miso’ which is fermented rice, soybean and a particular fungii species. The Miso paste tastes a lot like Soy sauce and served for us with a slice of cucumber. We sampled some delicious Miso, one of which was spiced up which some chilly paste.
Miso can be used to make a soup which is the most common form including Miso pork, Miso chicken etc. It has a high nutritional value, high in protein, rich in vitamins. Masahiro went on to say that Miso also helps in the prevention of cancer and maintaining the cholesterol levels.
He showed us his precious stock of Miso which are placed in sealed plstic containers.
Although unknown to most city dwellers. there are around 4-5 Japansese families around Mangalore, Fumika and Msahiro plan to expand their trade in collaboration with their fellow countrymen. They have also had a mini exhibition at the city center mall earlier this year as a promotion for Japan and its varied culture.
Fumiko and Masahiro although have not tried as much of traditional Mangalorean cuisine other than the basic Indian dishes like butter chicken and biryani which are among their favorites.
With a promise of taking them out for a traditional Mangalorean ‘fish curry rice meal’ we bid our goodbyes to the lovely Monoi family.
The gang of three hungry men have definitely had a different experience during this adventure of ours. We do look forward and hope for the best awaiting for some delicious Sushi in town soon !