I could easily write a lot of stories extolling the pleasures of a trip to Japan. The culture, scenery, history, people and all that malarkey but really, come on, none of you actually expect such literary aspirations from this silly dog blog.
Nah, you’re here for the weird stuff and when you talk about Japan, there’s no shortage of things strange and wonderful. Just look at the AJF. Oh wait, that didn’t come out quite right.
Japan offers it all: Maid Cafes or love hotels, fancy toilets or “crying rooms” which you can rent by the hour for an uninterrupted cry, tissues included. I’m not joking about this stuff. But let’s keep to tamer fare…
Let’s talk food! Or, more precisely, the lunch menu we encountered on our recent trip.
Japanese menus are probably works of art when presented in the native tongue but when translated into English, things go awry.
One wonders who does these abominable translations and what they might have been smoking at the time.
Case in point, the fine Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant Torattoria Romanza Ginza. OK, the first part of the name is written as it is pronounced in Japan so we can easily forgive the spelling “Torattoria” instead of “Trattoria.”
Now, mind you, this is a restaurant on the Ginza, a frou-frou shopping street that rivals the Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Via Monte Napoleone in Milan, London’s Bond Street, Rodeo Drive in LA or Fifth Avenue, New York.
Check out the appetizers page of the menu:
I don’t know where to start with this utter train wreck of a menu.
The “dish of brag” is enticing, especially the “temporary leather mousse brulee.” Be thankful it’s temporary.
Not to be missed is the “Sweet garlic and risotto of fortune wrapped in the scent of the island”.
But my favorite selection is the “Lipieno of small rhinoceros with Japanese-style rash.”
Delectable…it’s the rash that pulls out the true flavor of the rhino, doncha know!
No doubt you all have been hankering for some really good “cow peeled carpaccio” or some tasty “chicken boned confections.”
Maybe we should turn our attention to the second page of the menu:
It’s the sheer inconsistency of the translation that drives me crazy. Line 1 is a “Pasta Lunch.” Great, no problem. But then, on the very next line we have “Pizza Ranch” which is not a farm in Italy. Nope, it’s “Pizza Lunch” but with a Japanese accent (although purists will say it should be “Pizza Runch.”) The random capitalization is also conducive to good digestion.
And somebody explain to me why, IN JAPAN, a bowl of rice is only available in limited quantities and why said bowl costs so much more on weekends.
Ai yai yai. Maybe the final menu page will be redeeming:
I give up. I just give up. I suppose I’ll have to call the sommelier to recommend an appropriate accompaniment to my lipieno of small rhinoceros.
In closing, and for absolutely no reason whatsoever except this is a silly dog blog, here is the oldest photo in existence of Max. Utah, 2007.
More about our favorite Malt coming soon.