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NARUKIYO YOSHIDA Item related to NARUKIYO YOSHIDA

NARUKIYO YOSHIDA

February 28, 2016

Profile

Name:
Yoshida Narukiyo
DOB:
1972
POB:
Fukuoka, Japan
Occupation:
Chef

Izakaya Narukiyo is located in a back alley of the Aoyama district of Tokyo. A veritable galaxy of able persons, artist and business people of all nationalities, gather in this restaurant that doesn’t even have a home page. Chef and owner Narukiyo Yoshida’s background shows a wide range of interests including 30’s culture, music, movies, and Russian avant-garde. The Japanese atmosphere, the spirit of harmony, and the cuisine’s artistic representation are all amazingly delicious. It goes beyond a dining experience, and leads one as far as thinking about life itself.

Being honest about what’s cool and delicious without getting trapped in the confusion of fads. I think there’s a Narukiyo because half of what we do is simple.

I think I’m in the position that ultimately, even 10 years from now, our style and culture will remain completely unchanged all the way through. Younger people have lost respect for that kind of culture at breakneck speed. Being honest about what’s cool and delicious without getting trapped in the confusion of fads. I think there’s a Narukiyo because half of what we do is simple. Not just having a meal, maybe it’s more like getting a drink; I feel like there are less and less places you can just sit down and spend a long time engaging with other people. We’re not a cafe but, there’s music, we’ve got newspapers and dirty magazines, regulars pick those up and just spend their time here. In this era where everything is relegated, maybe you can only afford two hours but, I think that’s what having a drink is about. We live in a convenient time, it’s rife with information, but it’s become an era where we go into everything with a preconceived notion without giving anything a chance. For something like searching for a place to eat, my staff says I must be the only one in Japan with a restaurant without a homepage. Just as I was saying, “You don’t need anything to tell you about a place like this,” I felt that like there must be a lot of people that would be interested due to precisely that. Maybe because it’s Tokyo.

It’s a fact that food has become fashion. To that extent, it’s a waste that artisans aren’t taking an active part.

Some time ago, going out to eat became fashionable. The back pages of magazines have all startedl having some kind of food-related articles like about restaurants or a cafes. When I started as a chef there wasn’t anything like that but now food has gradually become a form of entertainment. I’m taking your money so obviously it’s gotta be tasty, what’s it’s become is more of a question of the dining style. The tools we can use in the face of that are music and the actual dishes. I can blow glass and I make the plates themselves. Tasting good or bad, looking good or bad, that’s half of it. Of course, choosing a style means that there will be people that like it and people that won’t. It’s the same as in fashion: there’s plain, two-tone, stylish, a lot of different realms with a novel feeling. I think, in the same way, food has come to be viewed as an art. It’s a fact that food has become fashion. To that extent, it’s a waste that artisans aren’t taking an active part. Before, you didn’t need to be rated, but now if you don’t have a good image, people might not come in. If you ask me, it’s like there are trendy restaurants that you have to ask why a place like that is popular, I feel like they don’t really have anything good. But of course maybe it’s just fashion, or maybe it’s because there’s a nice girl standing behind the counter. [Laughs] That’s just how it is these days.

More than just being interested in eating, even in this day and age, I want people to feel a sense of romance. The saying, “Narukiyo, let’s do it!” is because it’s like I’m entrusted with that night.

More than just being interested in eating, even in this day and age, I want people to feel a sense of romance. Whether it’s Italian food or French cuisine, if you have a nice place that has what you like… It’s like a nice girlfriend, or a refined lady, or a classmate, or a senior colleague. There’s a million different ways to make food, but I definitely want to have a place that does it right. We’re like the evening TV channels, we take care of your night with a feeling like different tables can be NHK or TBS. I love upscale restaurants too, you got a waitress, it’s nice to have a smooth running place, but since some time ago I…it’s like a momentary art, they can look you in the eye, I wanted to have a bar like you could go home to, I wanted to try to become the best B class place. I feel like, I wanna be the best in a lot of different ways, in that sense, when people come here; it’s like a tavern, the cuisine, it’s a restaurant; there are a lot of different expressions when it comes to an eatery. Before, I was working at a traditional restaurant where they worried about every little detail, I got to see that kind of greatness and people like that in Tokyo. Tokyo really is amazing; the things you can’t taste in the countryside, and those people that entrust their nights to me are special. The saying, “Narukiyo, let’s do it!” is because it’s like I’m entrusted with that night. No matter what I make, they won’t criticise me so I gotta use my head. I don’t want to do the same thing every day, so I gotta keep learning new stuff. I get to entertain people and I really don’t get tired of it. I truly appreciate my parents for laying out the path for me at their diner.

 

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