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The Restaurant of Love Regained

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Returning home from work, Rinko is shocked to find her flat is totally empty. Gone are her TV set, fridge, and above all, her boyfriend. She has no choice but to go back to her native village and her mother, on which she turned her back 10 years ago. There she decides to open a very special restaurant.


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Returning home from work, Rinko is shocked to find her flat is totally empty. Gone are her TV set, fridge, and above all, her boyfriend. She has no choice but to go back to her native village and her mother, on which she turned her back 10 years ago. There she decides to open a very special restaurant.

30 review for The Restaurant of Love Regained

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    In my librarian life, I'm always teaching students how a good source can lead to another. This happened recently in my reading life where I found out about The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa (translated from the Japanese) in another recent read, The Girl who Reads on the Métro (translated from the French.) If you like foodie fiction with magical realism but set in Japan, this is the book for you! (Don't go in hungry.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tze-Wen

    Let me start by saying how much I wanted to like this book. I really wanted it to be another Chocolat, Like water for chocolate, Kitchen or Tongue. Granted, those books I read many years ago and for most of that time I was an omnivore. As a vegetarian who grew up in a Chinese family that hardly ever goes a day without meat, I am pretty tolerant around people discussing or consuming animal products/dishes, as long as the same level of respect is shown to me. I'd rather not be engulfed by the smok Let me start by saying how much I wanted to like this book. I really wanted it to be another Chocolat, Like water for chocolate, Kitchen or Tongue. Granted, those books I read many years ago and for most of that time I was an omnivore. As a vegetarian who grew up in a Chinese family that hardly ever goes a day without meat, I am pretty tolerant around people discussing or consuming animal products/dishes, as long as the same level of respect is shown to me. I'd rather not be engulfed by the smoke rising from a meat-heavy barbecue, but I won't shoot nasty glances at your schnitzel either: as long as the exposure is moderate, it is not an issue for me. In that context, I got through most of The Restaurant of Love Regained without a hitch - foodwise - up to the latter part of the book that contains pages and pages of detailed descriptions concerning the butchering and preparation of certain animals. The author has put much effort in emphasising the value of food, whether sourced from plants or animals, but I could not side with her on the decision that Ruriko and Ringo make. Without giving too much away, I just think a more animal-friendly solution was within reach and more logical at that. This, however, is not the only issue I have with the novel. From the first page onwards, I felt annoyed with how little Ogawa actually explains. There are just so many questions I would like to have had answered. It is clear that she wanted to write a book that was a delight to the senses, a story that the readers could smell, taste and feel... whilst putting the loosely stringed plotline on the back burner. Moreover, I felt that there were sudden, even inappropriate, breaks in the writing style and a few bits of translation that someone without sufficient knowledge of Japanese culture would find strange - like the use of the word "cute". Many other reviews of this book have been very positive, and I certainly do not want to dissuade anyone to pick up and read it. For those who are sensitive to graphic depictions of meat preparation, you can skip the aforementioned pages without missing much of the story. And finally, perhaps letting go of the expectation of a thoroughly explored storyline, will make the read more pleasurable. Or perhaps, in the end, it just comes down to our individual bookish preferences?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vishy

    Rinko works in a restaurant in a big city. One day she comes home to find that her apartment has been cleaned out by her boyfriend and he has left. She doesn't have any option other than moving in with her mom, who lives in a village. All this makes Rinko temporarily lose her voice. Even though her relationship with her mother has always been difficult, Rinko's mother lets her stay there. After a few days, Rinko decides to start her own restaurant in the village. This would be a special kind of Rinko works in a restaurant in a big city. One day she comes home to find that her apartment has been cleaned out by her boyfriend and he has left. She doesn't have any option other than moving in with her mom, who lives in a village. All this makes Rinko temporarily lose her voice. Even though her relationship with her mother has always been difficult, Rinko's mother lets her stay there. After a few days, Rinko decides to start her own restaurant in the village. This would be a special kind of restaurant in which she will serve only one table - either one person or a couple or a family. Rinko plans to talk to this person or family in advance and prepare and serve exquisite dishes which will give them pleasure and make them happy. Her friend Kuma helps her to setup the restaurant. What happens after that? Is Rinko's restaurant successful? Do the customers like her food? Does her relationship with her mother become better? Does she find love again? Does she find her voice again? The answer to these questions form the rest of the story. I loved 'The Restaurant of Love Regained'. It is a glorious celebration of food, a beautiful love letter to food. There are pages and pages of descriptions of how Rinko cooks a particular dish, in Ito Ogawa's spare, elegant prose, and they are beautiful to read - we can almost smell the aroma of the wonderful food wafting from the kitchen. The story is nice too - it is about how a person who loses everything, tries to climb back from the depths and the surprises she encounters in the way. There is Kuma, her friend, who is very likeable, and there is Rinko's mother Ruriko, who is a complex character and there is more to her than meets the eye. Then there is Hermes, Ruriko's pet pig, who is very protective of her, and very adorable. I loved all these characters. The main character is, of course, Rinko, who narrates the story. Towards the end of the story something happens - it is a very Japanese, Chinese, East Asian thing. I won't tell you what it is, because I don't want to reveal spoilers. But I will say this - I didn't see that coming and it was heartbreaking. I saw a film years back called 'Babette's Feast'. (In case you are interested my review is here - https://vishytheknight.wordpress.com/...) It is an incredibly beautiful celebration of food. 'The Restaurant of Love Regained' is its literary sister. If you like reading novels about food, you will like this. I read that this book has been made into a film too. I can't wait to watch that. Have you read Ito Ogawa's book? What do you think about it?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richa Bhattarai

    (3.25 stars) Japan fascinates me - it seems like a whole different world, the nuances of its relationships, the cuisine, the culture, its history. Books about cooking and food, they excite me, too. So what could go wrong with this novel, talking solely of a special restaurant nurtured by an aspiring chef in a little village in Japan? Plenty, as it turned out. The first pages of this novel dragged. And dragged. It seemed to me predictable, blandly written, and directionless. At one point, more than (3.25 stars) Japan fascinates me - it seems like a whole different world, the nuances of its relationships, the cuisine, the culture, its history. Books about cooking and food, they excite me, too. So what could go wrong with this novel, talking solely of a special restaurant nurtured by an aspiring chef in a little village in Japan? Plenty, as it turned out. The first pages of this novel dragged. And dragged. It seemed to me predictable, blandly written, and directionless. At one point, more than 30 pages in, I wanted to simply abandon it. But I persevered. And once the restaurant 'The Snail' opened, it was a sweet, sweet reward. Rinko, a japanese working in a Turkish restaurant, returns home to find every single of her belongings gone. She has no option but to go back to her mother's place in a far-flung village, to eke out a living. She shares a tumultuous relation with her mother. And worse, she loses her voice, perhaps due to the trauma of her Indian boyfriend absconding with everything. So she creates an extraordinary restaurant back home, which is soon famed for helping love bloom and flourish. Does it, though? And what happens when old mysteries and lies, doubts and insecurities begin to surface? The thing that sustained my interest was the beautiful description of the recipes, the love bestowed on each ingredient, the astounding changes it brought about it, yet they were believable. Parts of the subtle magic realism, of the enmeshment of food and person, silence and speech, reminded me of 'The Vegetarian', and the girl's image sometimes took me back to Ruth Ozeki's 'A Tale for the Time Being.' A mellow, sincere, interesting read. Just hand on there in the opening pages. Warning: I've never had to give this warning before, but I would advise vegetarians and animal lovers to stay clear of the latter pages. I am an omnivore and have no moral ground to say this, but the strange way with which an animal was treated made me slightly nauseous. I can understand the logic, the feeling behind it, yet it still is a bit sadistic to describe it in such great detail.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    When translated works can bind one in a spell because of the beauty of the language, it is then and only then that one wishes so fervently that he or she could read the book in its original language. If a translated work could be so beautiful, I wonder...what would the original work be like? “The Restaurant of Love Regained” by Ito Ogawa is one such book. Ringo, a Japanese girl of 25 returns home after work to see her apartment bereft. Spotlessly bare. The things which she once shared with her In When translated works can bind one in a spell because of the beauty of the language, it is then and only then that one wishes so fervently that he or she could read the book in its original language. If a translated work could be so beautiful, I wonder...what would the original work be like? “The Restaurant of Love Regained” by Ito Ogawa is one such book. Ringo, a Japanese girl of 25 returns home after work to see her apartment bereft. Spotlessly bare. The things which she once shared with her Indian boyfriend were all taken away by him, so cunningly. No explanations, just a saddening emptiness. She decides to leave the apartment which reminded her of precious things accumulated over the years and a person who was close to her heart. Ringo hastily boards a bus with her only possession, a small ceramic vase in which she and her grandmother made pickled vegetables in salted bran paste. While on her way to her village from which she ran away 10 years ago, she realises that she has lost her voice too. Back at her village, Ringo decides to open a restaurant. Her mother, to whom she has not spoken for 10 years, offers Ringo her storage hut on the condition that she would not give up halfway and must finish what she starts. Ringo is also entrusted with the task of taking full care of her mother’s 100 kg pig called Hermes. With the help of her friend Kuma, the two of them transform the hut into a cosy restaurant and name it “The Snail”. But this is not your regular restaurant. Ringo’s plan is to just have one pair of customers a day. She would meet the customer the day before and ask them about their preferences of food and budget. She does this to ensure that her customers get the best menu. Everthing goes well, right from Kuma, her first customer and very soon her restaurant becomes very popular as customers started experiencing miracles after having tasted her food. Especially the case of the elderly lady who is always seen dressed in black as she grieves for her late lover. She is transformed overnight after having Ringo’s sumptuous dinner. She decides to shed her forlorn look and black dresses and reverts to her outgoing personality. Ringo’s fame as a miracle chef spreads far and wide and soon we come across a few interesting customers with different needs – a young, shy couple who can’t confess their love for each other; a man and woman brought together by a matchmaker; a family of six with a senile grandfather; a girl with an almost lifeless rabbit and so on. It was a pleasure to get to know their stories and how Ringo’s food heals them all. The whole book is akin to a meditative journey. It is a tale of how food cooked with so much love, care and attention can heal and transform people. There isn’t much conversation as the protagonist has lost her voice and interacts with everyone with the help of handwritten cards. There aren’t many characters in the book too. However, there are plenty of descriptions of nature and food. Many of the moments that Ringo spends in her village brought a smile to my face. “Like turning over a beetle struggling on its back and watching it walk away. Like feeling the warmth of a freshly laid egg against my cheek. Like seeing a droplet of water balance on a leaf’s surface, more beautiful than any diamond. Or like finding a Kinugasa mushroom at the entrance to the bamboo forest, carefully plucking it and taking it home to place in my miso soup, with its wonderful flavour and its underside as beautiful and intricate as hand-knitted lace. All of these things filled me with wonder and gratitude and made me want to kiss God on the cheek.” All this sort of reaffirmed my belief in the goodness in life. Whether it is the snowdrops or the red radish fields or soaking in the hot springs to heal any kind of ailment, they all bring so much of soothingness to the reader’s heart. Then there are endless descriptions of food and ingredients. Like these which made my mouth water oh so. “..strawberry salad by marinating fresh rocket leaves, watercress and strawberries in boiled balsamic vinegar...fried carrots resembling deep fried shrimps and steak of Japanese radish.” A simple book on the power of ingredients from the lap of nature. I don’t think I have read a novel where the pure, pristine nature is talked about in a such a refreshing way like this. We have all lost touch so much with the greenery and brownness of earth that this book was like a whole new world to me. A magical place where all kinds of miracles happen. The book is written in very simple English yet filled with some beautiful, simple imagery. To quote a few... “My daydreams were as sweet as mango lassi” “...thoughts washed away as if a bucket of white paint had been poured right through my mind” “...memories of my grandmother surfaced like bubbles with every bite” “...as soon as I opened the lid, a warm steam floated up into the air like fairies on a mission to make this love happen.” There were a few imageries which seemed weird yet interesting. “...a rabbit’s beautiful silver-grey hair is...like a kitchen sink that had been painstakingly scrubbed” “The tips of the Twin Peaks were covered in snow, making it look as if they were wearing some gigantic lacy bra” and when the author described Ringo’s drunk mother and lover together like this, I laughed out loud. “...I watched them sitting together, leaning sloppily into each other like two different flavours of melting ice cream” The whole book is a tribute to nature, food and cooking. It is the perfect read for one who is looking for something light and warm. Though there are a few heart breaking moments at the end, I found that these are inevitable to the plotline. In fact, though it saddens me a lot, it seems like there is no better way to end this book the way it ended. This book made me want to go to “The Snail” so badly because I, for one, would love to see some miracles happening. This also happens to be another one of those rare books which fall under the category of what I love to call ‘sensuous fiction”. You would find yourself immersed in a wide range of emotions running through this book and I really found it hard to come out of this amazing reading experience. Rating: 5/5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kyriakos Sorokkou

    Δείτε και την κριτική στα Ελληνικά στις βιβλιοαλχημείες. Returning home from work (Turkish Restaurant), Rinko finds her apartment totally empty, no furniture, no appliances, no nothing. Her only other choice is to go back to her village and her mum, who she hasn't seen in 10 years. There she will decide to open a special restaurant that serves only one table per day. The customers are persons who want to reconciliate, persons in love who want someone else to bring them together, and more. And so the Δείτε και την κριτική στα Ελληνικά στις βιβλιοαλχημείες. Returning home from work (Turkish Restaurant), Rinko finds her apartment totally empty, no furniture, no appliances, no nothing. Her only other choice is to go back to her village and her mum, who she hasn't seen in 10 years. There she will decide to open a special restaurant that serves only one table per day. The customers are persons who want to reconciliate, persons in love who want someone else to bring them together, and more. And so the restaurant of love regained is established having the name "The Snail". Probably for its slow and dedicated pace in preparing foods. The blurb in the back says it is for fans of Like Water for Chocolate by Mexican author Laura Esquivel, which I read two months before this one. And this was the 2nd reason I bought this book at a book bazaar. The first is well-known. My reading the world project. So when I saw Japanese book I took it. This was the first book I read in March and the last I started and finished before the arrival of the virus in Cyprus. A strange month. Quarantine, seclusion, praying, flagellation. I'm kidding. Only the first two are valid. Strange month also in terms of readings too. With this book as an exception plus my last book from March: Shutter Island, all the rest were lukewarm disappointments. They had a slow pace and their themes were not my favourite. This is the side-effect of blindly buying books from all over the world with the only criterion being the country of origin: Japan, Jordan, Malaysia. But, they weren't back books. They were pretty slow and I was utterly bored and wanted them to end, in contrast with this book which I found cute, weird, a bit saccharine, but nevertheless with a good pace that didn't bore me. Digestible. You have a nice time and then you move on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abbie | ab_reads

    really enjoyed some of this but the ending took a weird turn that I couldn’t really get behind. Full review to come!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I was in the mood for something light and charming, and this was perfect. Props to David Karashima for his excellent translation. As an American living in Japan, it bothered me a little bit that the only foreigners mentioned in the book were faithless and/or dishonest. And as someone with an MFA from a Western university, I thought that a few elements could have been developed more, and a few details (the pubic hair!) seemed off-key. But overall, I really enjoyed the quirky details -- Mom's pet p I was in the mood for something light and charming, and this was perfect. Props to David Karashima for his excellent translation. As an American living in Japan, it bothered me a little bit that the only foreigners mentioned in the book were faithless and/or dishonest. And as someone with an MFA from a Western university, I thought that a few elements could have been developed more, and a few details (the pubic hair!) seemed off-key. But overall, I really enjoyed the quirky details -- Mom's pet pig Hermes, Grandpa Owl, bungee jumpers -- and the mouthwatering descriptions of meals. Now I want to see the movie!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    A short, sweet and different little read. As a vegetarian, I needed to grit my teeth through some of it, but as it's mostly about food preparation I expected that. I'm not sure if it lost something in the translation, or if I'd recommend it but I'm not sorry I read it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sammm

    REVIEW WIP I do intend to write a detailed review in English, aiming to compare the book and its film adaptation, but because I'm reading the book in traditional Chinese, via physically borrowing it from my local library, AND kind of under a very tight schedule as I'd be flying back to the States soon, meaning I'd have to return the book soon, Ima just jot down the basics in Chinese first. BTW, originally I was just going to tell you folks, that, if you are actually interested in reading the revi REVIEW WIP I do intend to write a detailed review in English, aiming to compare the book and its film adaptation, but because I'm reading the book in traditional Chinese, via physically borrowing it from my local library, AND kind of under a very tight schedule as I'd be flying back to the States soon, meaning I'd have to return the book soon, Ima just jot down the basics in Chinese first. BTW, originally I was just going to tell you folks, that, if you are actually interested in reading the review, use Google Translate before I have time to actually write the review; fortunately I had the sense to test it out myself and realized most of the sentences aren't conveying the content correctly lmao. So English review would have to wait. Note: I'm giving it a 5-star, NOT because I think it's the best book ever (but also not saying it's not a good book), rather, to celebrate the fact that while it is a enjoyable read, it's also the very first book I picked to read on my own (not "firmly-recommended aka told to" read by someone else) that I went out of my usual comfort zone and actually finished reading something that's contemporary and not heavily adventure-based. 我的天啊,我才讀了八頁而已;馬上就已經被震撼到了(大笑)相較之下突然覺得電影輕描淡寫了些xP 該怎麼說呢?請也不要因此以為電影省略了很多或原作洋洋灑灑的文字累累。應該說是細膩的地方比較不容易鋪述吧?文字上就能慢慢累積然後突然啪~的給你致命一擊(哈哈我在寫什麼www笑笑就好) 我review的這個版本, 故事實際開始(如果有所謂的prologue或chapter 1)其實頁碼是在第5頁; 所以我前面說我讀到第八頁就被震撼到, 實際上是在第3-4頁之間呢!相當迅速!電影其實也跟原作一樣的不浪費時間告訴我們倫子的經歷... 但不曉得為什麼... 當我閱讀第6-8頁的敘述, 還在刻畫倫子很寶貝的那些廚具, 結果下一段馬上被告知它們全沒了, 實在有心碎到xDDDD 比較印象深刻"如果電影有、但我卻不記得"的地方, 有倫子在諸多環境打工累積經驗這點... 土耳其餐廳... 這應該超重要的!為什麼我完全沒印象呢xDD 還有"熊桑"這個角色囧... 同樣也感覺頗重要的說。 Customer Set #00: L-mesu (エルメス [erumesu]), the pig 哈哈, 其實我差點打算直接從熊桑開始寫起!不過幸好有翻到愛瑪仕的小插曲!倫子替愛瑪仕做麵包這點我記得!雖然此經歷字數不多, 但隨後接著是描寫蝸牛食堂開幕的過程, 整體有"倫子Go-Go!"的feel, 從不確定到漸漸穩了腳步的感覺! Customer Set #01: 熊桑 真的很懊惱為什麼對這個背景故事會這麼陌生呢囧> 咖哩飯??嗯嗯!好像真的有這麼一回事... 然後就這樣沒別的了Orz (嗯所以我真的會找時間重看電影啦哈哈xDD) 熊桑對餐廳的開幕可以說是頗有貢獻, 所以倫子決定讓他當第一個客人是能理解的。但是熊桑的故事... 阿根廷的年輕太太??帶了他們的女兒離開他???我是得了失憶症,還是看電影沒專心,還是電影真的沒有所以不是我的錯?xDDD 嗯。不管怎樣。熊桑說想吃咖哩飯, 倫子最後決定做石榴咖哩。 石榴咖哩的食譜是在土耳其餐廳工作的伊朗朋友教我的。因為放進大量石榴,會呈現漂亮的紅寶石色。 Wow. 我想我十二月多回台灣應該還會再借一次這本書然後讀仔細一點; 因為我到現在還是不太確定實際情況lol. 判斷不要莫名會錯意以為是"在土耳其的(obviously土耳其)餐廳", 而是"在日本的土耳其theme餐廳"?xDD 我不知道為什麼我會有一瞬間那麼異想天開以為她去海外工作... 如果是義大利餐廳我就不會誤解成她在義大利的說哈哈抱歉xP (但是那個伊朗朋友真的就很妙!也太特別了吧啊哈哈www 然後此話一出就顯得我的世界地理知識已經快忘光了www 因為土耳其東部就連接伊朗!) 回到重點。嗯, 石榴咖哩!本來只是覺得是個自己沒聽過的new idea, 不過跟家人簡略提到我正在讀的小說的內容, 去過土耳其的媽媽馬上inform我土耳其確實特產石榴, 所以至少不會是天外飛來一筆亂掰的xDD Customer Set #02: 小老婆 又是一個"如果有出現在電影之中、沒印象"的內容(汗)。會想去查倫子這次套餐使用的食材!因為時間有限所以就先直接貼上菜單。 ・木天蓼酒的雞尾酒 ・米糠醬漬蘋果 ・生蠔和橄欖油拌生甘鯛 ・整隻比內土雞燉的蔘雞湯 ・以新米做成的烏魚子燉飯 ・烤小羊肉和蒜炒野菇 ・柚子冰沙 ・馬斯卡彭尼起司提拉米蘇搭配香草冰淇淋 ・濃郁的espresso咖啡 嘛... 對於"小老婆"的形容有用"年紀已高"和"拄著拐杖", 所以看到倫子自己也想說這菜單太豐盛了這點覺得蠻好笑的xP Customer Set #03: 桃子和悟君 這個我完全記得!!!!!!!!!(終於有點成就感哈哈)是倫子憑感覺選材而成的蔬菜濃湯!然後不知道被誰取名成Je t'aime soup(我愛你濃湯)! Customer Set #04: 相親男女(男:農家子繼承人,女:高中國文老師) 不記得Orz. 這組客人是因為前面幾組的好評而接續的!菜單和故事其實也很不錯!下次再整理!! Customer Set #05: 可惡的假相親男+帶來的人 我reading status update有提到!嗶的原作此事真的有噁到!差不多的劇情電影版也有!不過我記得角色改成倫子以前的女同學, 然後家裡是開咖啡廳的?她的做法是弄了半條毛毛蟲在三明治內來污蔑蝸牛食堂; 原作?這個中年男子則是添加了人某處的體毛(提示:下體)。看到他的作為我還真的破口罵了好幾串髒話xDDD 實在很沒必要的說!是有多desparate? 原作設定他甚至不是村內的人, 而是在村外開麵包店的!真的是委屈倫子了!枉費她做的三明治真的感覺超好吃!(材料作法同樣以後再補) Customer Set #06(07): 小梢和兔子 沒印象。倫子接觸他們時其實同時在處理下面一組客人。(材料作法同樣以後再補) Customer Set #07(06): 一家六口(含老人癡呆嚴重的爺爺) 替爺爺過85歲生日, 然後全家配合這位算是失智的爺爺吃兒童餐。(材料作法同樣以後再補) Customer Set #08: 一對男同性戀人 過程很輕描淡寫, 一開始只知道是聖誕夜的客人(話說; 倫子大概在這組客人前也有其他客人啦!但這是有特別提到的所以就列了!)後來接續的劇情才透露出他們有吃紅蕪菁(我不知這是啥(還沒去查))。此時都在陳述倫子與媽媽(琉璃子)的不和。 Customer Set #09: NEOKON 這個我也記得!!老實說小說讀到這裡我還是不太理解為什麼倫子對媽媽還有NEOKON這麼的煩感... 是天生磁場不合嗎?總之; 這段主要是倫子的身世終於勁爆的揭曉(?)(好像大家都以為倫子本人也知道哈哈)倫子用剩餘食材做了茶泡飯。(材料作法同樣以後再補) Customer Set #10: 琉璃子的婚宴 這個要忘很難xDDD 嘛... 屙, 如果有至少看過電影預告片, 應該不會算是爆梗啦!但保險起見我還是隱藏一下, 建議心臟不好的人還是要有點準備... 說實話這幾頁我翻的超迅速, 一來是因為有時間的壓力, 二來我自己(抽象的)心臟也不好xDDD 就...(view spoiler)[愛瑪仕當食材了。而且描寫的超詳細的啦嗚嗚嗚嗚嗚嗚嗚 我翻書翻得超快的因為真的不想知道"處理"的過程啦Orz (hide spoiler)] 從208頁開始基本上我都用瞄的... 有點訝異... 因為至少電影給我的感覺, 琉璃子的婚宴氣氛沒有很悲傷呀!嘛, 我知道得了癌症誰是高興的起來; 可是至少我沒有感覺一副辦喪禮似的...(還是因為我看太快了所以會錯意?)224-226頁則彌補般的滿滿了寫了喜宴料理(材料作法同樣以後再補)... 不過才翻到下一頁(228)馬上就被炸到了囧> 這個我真的完全不記得(還是刻意遺忘?)所以也隱藏一下:(view spoiler)[琉璃子去世了。 (hide spoiler)] 嗶的!我真的沒有心理準備啦囧 重點是... 也許電影也有演到... 但我真的記得那場婚禮就是片子尾聲了... 但是為什麼小說還剩這麼多頁!?(好啦其實只有20頁... 但還是意料外。) 嗯,然後我讀完那"意料外"的20頁了!有一小段還差點讓我想哭呢!這本書確定下次一定會再借!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Devika Suresh

    There are some books you will get attached to not because it's an exceptional one or something, but simply because it's a feel good one 💙 Minus one star for the small but unexpected heartbreak 😑 towards the end of the story

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amby

    beautiful book and very comforting :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sam Still Reading

    Some books are sad; others depressing. It’s quite rare to come across a book that it is simply optimistic and happy, but The Restaurant of Love Regained is just that. It’s not over the top love-love happy-happy but it makes you realise that in amongst that bad days and the sad days, there are a lot of good ones. Our protagonist, Rinko, doesn’t have a lot to smile about at the opening of this short but sweet novel. Her boyfriend, who she was planning to open an Indian restaurant with, has up and l Some books are sad; others depressing. It’s quite rare to come across a book that it is simply optimistic and happy, but The Restaurant of Love Regained is just that. It’s not over the top love-love happy-happy but it makes you realise that in amongst that bad days and the sad days, there are a lot of good ones. Our protagonist, Rinko, doesn’t have a lot to smile about at the opening of this short but sweet novel. Her boyfriend, who she was planning to open an Indian restaurant with, has up and left her without a word. Her apartment has also been cleaned out and she has no choice but to return to her mother’s house to regroup. Carrying a mortar from her grandmother, she makes a lone, weary bus trip to her small home town. She finds her relationship with her mother somewhat fractious, but with the help of an old friend, opens a tiny restaurant, The Snail. The Snail serves only one meal a day, but it’s a meal that is chosen with the utmost care for the diners. Rinko helps to heal a woman’s grief, unite two young lovers and cure a sick pet. Unfortunately Rinko’s luck hasn’t changed ultimately for the better and she has bad news to bear. Can The Snail and Rinko’s diners help her to heal too? That brief synopsis may sound cheesy, but the book is beautifully written and translated. The characters are well drawn from Rinko to Hermes the pig and there is obvious love in the joy that Rinko gets from planning the best food for her diners. Food plays a leading role in the book, and some of the descriptions of Rinko’s creations will leave your mouth watering. Food is seen as a bridge to link emotions – to resolve grief, uncertainty and to restore love. The food isn’t all Japanese either – there’s some delicious desserts and meat dishes made. For the more adventurous, a fugu (pufferfish) party is described. I loved the linking of food – from creating to eating and its link to emotion and conflict resolution. I hadn’t really thought of food that way before – Rinko is the perfect character to explain those thoughts to the reader. This book will have you both smiling and crying at times – definitely a book that deserves a wider audience. http://samstillreading.wordpress.com

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carola

    I think I needed this story right now. (view spoiler)[I absolutely loved it, up until the butchering of Hermes. I think I understood why Ruriko wanted this to happen to Hermes, but at the same time I got a bit pissed off. Hermes was her beloved pet, so I guess I actually really don't understand. Anyway, besides that, what bothered me most was the way the butchering was described, or rather that it was described at all. I think I understand what Ogawa was trying to do, but I don't like it at all. I think I needed this story right now. (view spoiler)[I absolutely loved it, up until the butchering of Hermes. I think I understood why Ruriko wanted this to happen to Hermes, but at the same time I got a bit pissed off. Hermes was her beloved pet, so I guess I actually really don't understand. Anyway, besides that, what bothered me most was the way the butchering was described, or rather that it was described at all. I think I understand what Ogawa was trying to do, but I don't like it at all. It also made the next part, the preparations for the wedding, completely unpleasant. (hide spoiler)] That said, I absolutely cried my eyes out at Grandpa Owl, the letter, even the pigeon. That was beautiful. All things considered I have to think about what I want to rate it for a while. Leaning towards 4 stars, but...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Broken hearted Rinko stoically returns to the isolated village that holds long buried memories of a fractured relationship with her mother. With internalised grief rendering her unable to speak, Rinko channels her energies into opening a unique restaurant, and gradually finds empowerment through the healing power of food. The Restaurant of Love Regained is essentially a cook book seasoned with a bit of fiction. Nevertheless, charmingly optimistic characters and some shocking revelations are deli Broken hearted Rinko stoically returns to the isolated village that holds long buried memories of a fractured relationship with her mother. With internalised grief rendering her unable to speak, Rinko channels her energies into opening a unique restaurant, and gradually finds empowerment through the healing power of food. The Restaurant of Love Regained is essentially a cook book seasoned with a bit of fiction. Nevertheless, charmingly optimistic characters and some shocking revelations are delicacies that complement the mouth-watering recipes. Clunky translation rendering this quirky novel a starter rather than a main, but the overall reader experience is pleasant and appetising. Like my review? Read more at http://booksbeccabuys.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aamna Jamil

    This book about food romance is written by Ito Ogawa, a Japanese writer whose book “Shokudō Katatsumuri” was translated in English as The Restaurant of Love Regained. This book explains life of a girl who went through a heartbreak and loss of each belonging on the very first page of the book and rest of the story is about her regaining strength and excelling in life with motivation and skills she has. It is like a romance cook-book and describes perfectly how and why each ingredient is important This book about food romance is written by Ito Ogawa, a Japanese writer whose book “Shokudō Katatsumuri” was translated in English as The Restaurant of Love Regained. This book explains life of a girl who went through a heartbreak and loss of each belonging on the very first page of the book and rest of the story is about her regaining strength and excelling in life with motivation and skills she has. It is like a romance cook-book and describes perfectly how and why each ingredient is important in a dish. Ito used very simple words to make a whole story and yet the element of delicacy is still there. This book is a story of a restaurant run by a girl that provides sheer love and magic in its food. Author is of the view that you cannot change your past but what is going to happen in future is still somehow in your hands. With the use of a bit fiction this story becomes amazingly delicious for readers 😉 Story revolves around a girl Rinko who not only lost her Indian boyfriend but he took everything from their house as well and the whole house was cleanly swept when Rinko returns home one day from work. There is only one thing left in one of the cabinets that is her grandmother’s jar which she used to adore and took care of it for so long. Devastated and shocked, she felt that she has lost her voice forever and will be able to talk to anyone ever. She did not have anywhere to go as well so she took a ticket to her hometown and sat on a bus. When she returned to the village, she realized there wasn’t much that has changed over ten years and she felt nostalgic too entering into homeland. Her relations with her mother were already very disturbing and when she couldn’t speak out what made her return home, her mother was more frustrated with her. Rinko decided she will use all her kitchen skills from her past jobs to open a restaurant in the back yard of her mother’s house. Her mother let her do this and in return asked her to take care of her pet pig. She gave it a thorough thought about what her restaurant will be like, how is she going to make food, how she will collect ingredients and how she is going to get customers know about her. During this time she met a childhood friend Kuma who, upon knowing what she is up to, decided to help her throughout. Rinko decided to name her restaurant as “The Snail” and she would serve only one person or a couple or a family per day. She will ask the customer beforehand about what type of food they would like to eat and how much they can afford to pay and will decide the menu accordingly and get fresh ingredients for every customer. This decision added magic in her dishes and she was known to have magical powers in her food after 3-4 customers. For example whenever someone wanted to implant the seed of love in someone’s heart, they would take him/her to Rinko’s restaurant and it worked too. Then she came to know about her birth from her mother and connected all the dots about why she and her mother never had perfect relationship ever. But the interesting thing in this novel is Rinko isn’t speaking a word to anyone and yet she is spreading love everywhere. Later her mother also established fair relation with her too. There is a huge part about slaughtering a pig and using each part of it in a dish including blood so that can make you nauseous like me so I just skipped that part. The ending becomes heart touching with Rinko’s mother letter in which she poured all her emotions for her and asked her to start speaking again too. This book gives us a huge lesson that everyone can be special in their own ways and one doesn’t have to be typical or following the trend. Without Rink’s verbal communication, her feeling are expressed with so much detail and how she spread positive vibes in her village. Ito also put emphasis on the ingredients of dishes whether plants or animals and that almost makes you smell the food while reading. Story tells us that you can get back to life after a huge fall in such glorious ways. Although this books is not something very extraordinary read but it is interesting and a comfort read so I would really recommend this one. My favorite quote from this book is “I wish I could recall more about that special day. But I’m afraid that if I did, I might crumble. Things like this, the most precious things in the world, I keep them all safely locked away in my chest where nobody can ever touch them. Where the sun can never fade them. Where the wind and rain can never harm them” ❤ Let me know yours 🙂

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jerina

    The Restaurant of Love Regained, written by Ita Ogawa has been (thankfully) translated from Japanese to English by David Karashima. To a large extent the tone and story seems to have not got lost in the translation but what cuts through the language barrier is the story itself - Deceived of her entire life's worth of stuff by her Indian boyfriend, Rinko, without a moment's hesitation decides to journey to her hometown in the mountains with the only precious thing that isn't stolen - her grandmot The Restaurant of Love Regained, written by Ita Ogawa has been (thankfully) translated from Japanese to English by David Karashima. To a large extent the tone and story seems to have not got lost in the translation but what cuts through the language barrier is the story itself - Deceived of her entire life's worth of stuff by her Indian boyfriend, Rinko, without a moment's hesitation decides to journey to her hometown in the mountains with the only precious thing that isn't stolen - her grandmother's pickled vegetables contained in an old vase. Clutching this jar in her hands she walks out of her flat, to the only other place she can go - her hometown. She doesn't have a very good relationship with her mother and so she decides to make her visit short and favourable for her, but ends up staying put and opening a restaurant that would cater to only one table a day. That is to say, she would serve food exclusively to a person/couple/family for just one meal in a day. From the moment I came across a mention of Rinko having given madeleines to her landlord to reduce the rent of her love nest, I was sold. When have I last read a book which wasn't a cookbook that featured a madeleine? Never. And then on the 17th page I came across this passage - At first, the words my grandmother used to describe differing amounts of seasoning such as tekitou and anbai were like another language to me. But I gradually came to understand what they meant. They were soft terms with rounded edges that painted a vague picture of the appropriate amount of flavour, and only those words could describe the resultant state of perfection. This is one of those books that not only lets us peek into the culture of the place, in this case Japan, through its important constituent - food and its various ingredients, but also affirms the belief of how cooking can transform people if made lovingly. There are only about 193 pages in this book, but even so there are elaborate details of how Rinko gets the restaurant up and running right from selecting a place, doing up the interiors to making dishes with reverence for the guests who come there. Its all written in such loving detail that I pondered over many pages and went back a few times to savour the words and the food actually. I did have problem about the lack of communication between Rinko's mother Ruchiro and herself, which by itself would have solved quite a few misconceptions Rinko has of her earlier memories, but I felt the author had her reasons. There isn't much detail also of what this problem is between her mother and herself, except that at the age of 15 she takes her bags and leaves her mother to pursue her education in the city. Was it because she thought her mother was quite amorous and flaunting her sex appeal to customers who visited their bar Amour? Was it because she didn't know her father? We can only speculate. There is a revelation at the end of the book that you would never see coming, but which ties up all the loose ends in the story. There will be, however, no lack of interest till then in reading this wonderful book with its vivid description of the seasons and nature and food. There is a long part about meticulously killing, cutting and portioning pork which a vegetarian might have difficulty reading, but most of the book venerates the food she makes and the animals and birds whose life she takes to prepare her masterpieces. There is so much to love in this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tulika

    Rinko comes home one day from her job at a restaurant to find that her boyfriend has walked out on her. As he goes he empties out their shared home including all her possessions as well as her life savings, which they were putting together to start a place of their own. In shock, Rinko loses her voice. She decides to go home to her mother. The two have never got along but she has little choice now. She discovers her mom has replaced her with a pig, Hermes, whom she loves more than she ever loved Rinko comes home one day from her job at a restaurant to find that her boyfriend has walked out on her. As he goes he empties out their shared home including all her possessions as well as her life savings, which they were putting together to start a place of their own. In shock, Rinko loses her voice. She decides to go home to her mother. The two have never got along but she has little choice now. She discovers her mom has replaced her with a pig, Hermes, whom she loves more than she ever loved Rinko. With a loan from her mom and help from a childhood friend, Rinko starts a small restaurant. She calls it The Snail and serves only one exclusive customer a day. Her restaurant becomes successful and her food is believed to have magical qualities. Thereafter certain events occur and secrets come tumbling out that impact not just her restaurant, but also her relationship with her mom. Fiction centred on food is absolute comfort read for me. The Restaurant of Love Regained promised exactly that. Though the book begins on a melancholic note, it brightens up soon enough. It was delightful to follow Rinko as she set up her restaurant. I loved how things came together. The quaint door, the yellow orange walls, the handmade chandelier, the large old wood table, the hand sewn table covers, the thick rug and even a futon for someone who wants a post-meal nap. It was a dream. Although built on a budget it seemed warm, spacious, elegant and cosy all at the same time. Then there’s Rinko’s love for food. It comes shining through on every page. She has an endearing sense of pride in her cooking. When Hermes refuses to eat bread baked by her she is bothered and she experiments with ingredients to come up with something he likes. It was disheartening to see something I’d made being left uneaten. The fact that the disgruntled customer was a pig didn’t help either. I loved her dedication and her commitment to all things fresh and local. She treks through mountains and climbs trees to get to the best fruits and vegetables. She picks wild mushrooms and creates magic out of them. She plants herbs and watches them grow. She marinates and mixes, roasts and fries, stirs and sautés to cook up amazing creations. I don’t want to put in spoilers but something happens towards the last bit of the book that completely spoilt it for me. Let me just say that if you do not like graphic descriptions of meat, stay away from this one. It is gory and insensitive and absolutely turned my stomach. Perhaps it was a cultural thing or perhaps it was just me. I have been a vegetarian for over a decade, however, everyone around me is not and I’m okay with dinner-table conversations that discuss meat but this was something way beyond that. I skipped through almost the last fifty pages which would otherwise have been poignant and sweet, filled with reconciliations and tender moments. Last Thought: I leave you to make up your own mind about this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angelina

    Rinko is a 25 yr old girl , working at a Turkish Restaurant in a big city in Japan.She shares her apartment with her Indian boyfriend,who works at the Indian Restaurant just next to the Turkish one.They had been staying together here for the last three years and Rinko heartily enjoyed cooking for her boyfriend. She dreamt of moving in with him to India and celebrate Indian occasions.However, one day she returns from her job to find her apartment completely deserted. Every nook and corner of it h Rinko is a 25 yr old girl , working at a Turkish Restaurant in a big city in Japan.She shares her apartment with her Indian boyfriend,who works at the Indian Restaurant just next to the Turkish one.They had been staying together here for the last three years and Rinko heartily enjoyed cooking for her boyfriend. She dreamt of moving in with him to India and celebrate Indian occasions.However, one day she returns from her job to find her apartment completely deserted. Every nook and corner of it has been swept clean ;not a single object including her granny's 100 yr pestle mortar was left.This sudden shock has rendered her speechless and inspite of continuous efforts, voice refused to come out of her throat. Having lost all her savings , Rinko boards a bus to return to her native village , which she had left at the age of 15, to her mother, Ruriko,who runs a bar there. Despite her initial plan to flee with her mother's money, Ruriko lets Rinko stay in her house in lieu of providing for her own expenses and maintenance of her beloved pet pig, Hermes. She realizes that the time to materialize her dormant desire to open up a restaurant has arrived. With the help of an old friend Kuma and other villagers, she sets up a very unique restaurant and names it 'The Snail'. Unlike other regular restaurants, The Snail serves only one guest per evening and Rinko prepares the menu according to the type of food preference of the customers keeping in mind the purpose of the dinner. Soon ,customers starts pouring in with different issues and Rinko succeeds in helping them overcome all their problems. As Rinko's fame as a miracle chef and her restaurant's fame as a magical healing eatery spreads far and wide, she discovers deep secrets of her family and the mystery of her birth. This book is an ode to cooking ,to foods and to nature. It is the tale of the healing power that food possesses when cooked with love and passion.This is also the story of transition of one woman from a mere helper at a restaurant to becoming the owner of a unique restaurant. Overall ,a wonderful book with beautiful descriptions of nature and food. Definitely recommended for all foodlovers :) .Only I expected a much pet friendly solution from the author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bill Johnston

    I dithered between three and four stars on this one because, truthfully, it's all over the place. There are worthwhile elements and hopeless elements. But by giving it four stars maybe I can convince some of my friends here on GR to read it, too. It's a sappy, sentimental book full of excessive detail about cooking and gathering ingredients. That's the good part. I don't know if it'll make you happy or sad. Probably some of both. It did that for me, though at times my eyes glazed over at the food I dithered between three and four stars on this one because, truthfully, it's all over the place. There are worthwhile elements and hopeless elements. But by giving it four stars maybe I can convince some of my friends here on GR to read it, too. It's a sappy, sentimental book full of excessive detail about cooking and gathering ingredients. That's the good part. I don't know if it'll make you happy or sad. Probably some of both. It did that for me, though at times my eyes glazed over at the foodiness. The first part is, well, racist. I don't want to overuse that word, but Rinko sees her boyfriend as a collection of stereotypical Indian traits, and the author makes him a thief to boot. It plays into Japanese prejudices against foreigners. If it had been revisited later in the novel, I'd say it was the author making her character racist as something to overcome. But no, there's nothing like that. So I can only conclude it's Ogawa being racist. The other thing lacking here is any grasp of economics. If you want to write a novel that romantically ignores money completely, that's one thing and fine in its own right. But here Ogawa does bring up money repeatedly, which makes us readers all realize how hopeless and ridiculous it is to set up a restaurant way out in the country that only serves one party per day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    For the most part, I absolutely loved this book. Just when the pace lulled for a page or so, the author surprised me with a twist – or rather, gobsmacked me with a twist! I can't say what, as it would be a spoiler, but there was one thing I expected to be explained by the end, which wasn't. Another part made me a little squeamish, however appropriate it was. However, overall I found it beautifully written, unique, and despite my reservations, very well worth reading. Many others must agree as I For the most part, I absolutely loved this book. Just when the pace lulled for a page or so, the author surprised me with a twist – or rather, gobsmacked me with a twist! I can't say what, as it would be a spoiler, but there was one thing I expected to be explained by the end, which wasn't. Another part made me a little squeamish, however appropriate it was. However, overall I found it beautifully written, unique, and despite my reservations, very well worth reading. Many others must agree as I see it's classed as a bestseller and been made into a film as well.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sae-chan

    It was like reading something I wrote in Composition Class when I was yay high "During summer vacation, we went to the woods and picked up some oranges, mangoes and bananas." In high school I went to my survival training course for the first time and learned first hand that all the edible leaves tasted awful. I was actually hungry reading some of the first recipes, but then they became too pretentious that I got nauseous rolling my eyes. You can't just squeeze lemon juice on top of the salad, it It was like reading something I wrote in Composition Class when I was yay high "During summer vacation, we went to the woods and picked up some oranges, mangoes and bananas." In high school I went to my survival training course for the first time and learned first hand that all the edible leaves tasted awful. I was actually hungry reading some of the first recipes, but then they became too pretentious that I got nauseous rolling my eyes. You can't just squeeze lemon juice on top of the salad, it has to be organic lemon juice.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    I probably shouldn’t rate this as I didn’t read most of it, but the opening chapters weren’t grabbing me and I saw some very mixed reviews and decided to flick through a little to see if it seemed like it might improve further down. The writing seemed good, but it seemed to be too vague and not really proceeding as a story. Lucky me, I opened on the Hermes the pig scene. Anyone who knows me can imagine how that went down. Sorry, that was horrid and I lost all interest in continuing with this boo I probably shouldn’t rate this as I didn’t read most of it, but the opening chapters weren’t grabbing me and I saw some very mixed reviews and decided to flick through a little to see if it seemed like it might improve further down. The writing seemed good, but it seemed to be too vague and not really proceeding as a story. Lucky me, I opened on the Hermes the pig scene. Anyone who knows me can imagine how that went down. Sorry, that was horrid and I lost all interest in continuing with this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne Tucker

    very strange novel - not sure what to make of it really. Its a little like Like Water for Chocolate, where cooking recipes drive the narrative. In this case it is Japanese cuisine, that weaves around a tale of a pretty dysfunctional family (mum and daughter) in a small village away from any city. I dont want to explain too much as theres a big shock 2/3 of the way through and the story continues for the last section in quite a strange new way. Not quite sure why it is an international best seller very strange novel - not sure what to make of it really. Its a little like Like Water for Chocolate, where cooking recipes drive the narrative. In this case it is Japanese cuisine, that weaves around a tale of a pretty dysfunctional family (mum and daughter) in a small village away from any city. I dont want to explain too much as theres a big shock 2/3 of the way through and the story continues for the last section in quite a strange new way. Not quite sure why it is an international best seller - its quirky but not brilliant imho.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Atiq Aziz

    Slow-pace story line, this book is about how a heart-broken Japanese woman -Rinko try to cope with life after she has been cheated by her Indian boyfriend. She lost the ability to talk. She then went back to her hometown and start a restaurant; as cooking is her favorite activity. She enjoy using various raw ingredient and cooked for her customers. The relationship between Rinko and her mother was also delivered in beautiful manner.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is an odd book - the story on the surface of a daughter returning to her home - disguises some oddities - like a total lack of necessity in the living of the life -however leaving that to one side, there is something fascinating, for me at least, in the detailed descriptions of the food. I like too the life philosophy, where significance is sought and earned - rather than tacked on. It's lightweight - but charming.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chitra Ahanthem

    What a lovely read... there's something indescribably beautiful about this book's writing style. It's a simple story about Rinko who comes back to her village after a hiatus of 15 yrs and open a restaurant that serves just one customer a day...there's the matter of her angst with her mother too...i loved it that a book that talks about food and cooking does not get into the specifics of recipes and elaborate information on cooking...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Burkhart

    I actually bought myself a copy of this book because a review that a friend wrote raved about Ito Ogawa and her book. For the most part I am glad that I did. I liked the writing, the characters, and the delicate way that the story was told. Food descriptions were mostly lovely, with one big exception which I will not describe since it is a spoiler. I will have my eye on Ogawa's future publications!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Soumya Prasad

    You know those stories that are exceptionally beautiful for more than 90% of it and then all goes downhill? Well, this was one such story. I loved the way it started and the way it continued with food being at the center of it. The story did complete justice to the food and it was indeed a delicious concoction. Then, towards the last 20-30 pages of the book, it just fell flat! Cliches and way too far-fetched turns ruined this otherwise good book. 3.5 stars!

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Armstrong

    This novel is all about food and even though my interest in food is close to zero I still found it fascinating for its, well, "differentness". It's a first novel and shows it, and the writing is kind of flat (though I'm not sure how much this is due to the original Japanese text and how much to the translation). I ding it a bit for this reason but still give it 4 stars. Be warned that parts of it are more visceral than some readers will be comfortable with.

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