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Flavours of Reminiscence

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Yen is a freelance writer and UI/UX design enthusiast. From tropical lands of Malaysia, she currently resides in the land of the rising sun.

Taiyaki by BOTAKYEN

Taiyaki by BOTAKYEN

Growing up in an asian culture, food has always played a huge part in my upbringing. As I moved between countries from my young adulthood into adulthood, I felt a part of me got tangled up into this mix of culture and confusion.

It brought back memories of my first alcoholic beverage which was the Japanese rice wine: Sake. I remembered the smooth texture of the warm beverage soothing through my throat into my belly, keeping me warm through the discussions that I did not understand nor wanted to.

So, did Japanese food.

Onigiri by BOTAKYEN

Onigiri by BOTAKYEN

Even as I am not of Japanese descent, Japanese food always brought a sense of home and belonging to me. A simple Onigiri (Rice Ball) wrapped around by seaweed with its center filled with one the simplest ingredients of either plum or tuna flakes- felt like a warm bowl of home cooked food. It's triangular design made the grip onto it feel and brings back memories of as a little child holding onto a precious bread bigger than the size of his or her palms, nibbling and savouring it bit by bit. A simple tempura (a dish whereby seafood or vegetables have been battered up and deep fried) brought back memories of youth where fried food was only eaten as a reward, and its crispy crunchiness filled the room of silence on nights a family member could not make it home in time for dinner due to work.

A drink by the food festival by BOTAKYEN

A drink by the food festival by BOTAKYEN

A drink at the end of a long day at work at the local Izakayas (Japanese pubs) or Nomikai dinner parties, felt like an escape from reality wherever I may be. The thought of sharing a meal or a drink with friends, family and coworkers brought an about an opportunity and closure to the environment I lived in.

Japanese food is a flavour of reminiscence to me.

Always reminding me of the warmth home is wherever I went or moved to, bringing me closer to a culture I have always been fascinated by.


Questions & Answers

Question: So which flavor do you like the most? Any recommendations for people who were being traumatized after eating the bombastic sweet potato fillings.

Answer: As funny as this may seem, Japanese is also my favorite flavour other than a flavour of reminiscence. I could eat sushi, ramen, beef rice bowl (gyuudon) and curry rice everyday - which I did while living in Japan. Sorry, I am not quite sure with the second question but I do agree that Japanese food can be very sweet especially desserts and pastries like taiyaki. If you are a fan of raw fish, sashimi pairs well nicely with sake or whisky, fried chicken in bite sizes (karaage) or pork cutlets in fried batter is a well-loved delicacy among the locals in Japan (great with beer!), Omurice (Omelette and rice) with gravy is also a well-loved dish among travelers around the world, and of course ramen or yakisoba is a quick option for a nice and warm bowl of noodles in Japan.

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