"This is the restaurant which indicate
us present and past of England".
"This is the restaurant which indicate us present and past of England".
I found such comment on instagram and visited "THE R.C.ARMS"
in Yurakucho, Tokyo.
I tried Fish & Chips and Apple Pie which are recommended. However,
I could not understand which points indicate “present” and “past”. Then
I studied about it through some books and internet. Among them, the two
books gave me inspirations.
Speaking of British Dishes, the book titled “England is delicious” (issued in English also) which is written by Nozomu Hayashi is well known in Japan. Mr. Hayashi had been lived England as the professor of Cambridge and wrote about his experience of British food with wit. Maybe the title of this book is including irony, because even in 1991 when the book first published, Japanese know that British food are not fit their tast . However, we can feel his love for British things from his text. One day, He had felt disappointing about the one of British dish, however, after temporary return to Japan, he felt pleasure to be back to England while he was tasting the same. One another day, he was really enchanted good smell of apples made in England.
He had honestly analyzed British culture through his private experiences while he acted like stubborn just a little. By the way, I found that Japanese was not opened to foreign culture at that time. Even an college student who liked new things at that period showed resistance to eat Chips with vinegar. Nowadays not a few Japanese have vinegar in their each kitchen and be able to enjoy spicy cakes which made Mr. Hayashi be embarrased.
On the hand, “ Pictorial book of British Sweets” written by Ms/Mrs Noriko Hane( first published in 2015, I referred the enlarged and revised edition published in 2019 ), was good for both ways, glancing and reading throughly. Basically the photos are printed on the left pages, texts are printed on the right pages. We can glance the information about food at a first glance. When I turn pages speedily, I feel free like when I scroll monitor of smart phone.
The photos on the book are comfortable for me which get used to see pictures of foods everyday, moreover, it helps Asian like me, who understand western culture with the condition that mixed American with British, to resolve our own misunderstanding.
Actually, I enjoyed so much to fix my misunderstandings many times. I even felt that I read too slowly to fill my curiosity. From her essay, I understand the way to use words such as “bread” and “pudding” which was different from Japanese culture. According to the recipes, I found that the sweets which I ate few days ago referenced British recipes. From the picture, I found the tarts in the picture by John Teninel in “ Alice in Wonderland” are jam tarts. This book even taught me the historical episode. I think this book is like a gentle and smart friend which give me advises according to my mood at that time.
Now we back to the dishes I ate in Yurakucho. I surmised about which points is traditional according to these two books.
About Fish & Chips
“New points” :
Potato which is shaped like a coil wrapped fish and deep fried.
Served it with tartar sauce, not vinegar.
Maybe it was arranged to impress the originality of this restaurant.
Handy, wrapped with paper.
Mr. Hayashi wrote about young people who had stuck their head in the papers when they had ate Fish and Chips while standing.
About Apple Pie
“ New points”:
Served with ice cream and lemon sauce, not custard or cream.
Maybe it was arranged for Japanese.
Double-crust (pie wrapped up apple filling from top and bottom)
Ms/Mrs Hane wrote that there are only few differences between British apple pie and American one. British one seems to be rather thin than American. I confirmed how Japanese are confusing about British and American culture, through her book. I’m expecting her new book about whole British food not only sweets.
The dishes which is reflected present of England would be the others which tasted by spice of India or Middle East.I should try other menus too.
In the book, Mr. Hayashi wrote that Halloween will not take root natively in Japan. However, when this restaurant opened, Tokyo was filled with Halloween mood. Japanese way to accept Halloween is not “natively”, of course, but it is too long to treat as fad. Our way to understand foreign culture changed by internet and SNS. We really good at understanding and feel something through photos and videos. These two books, new and old, stand out the transition how we accept unfamiliar culture.
✳︎All prices listed are correct at the time of publication of this article
Restaurant：THE R.C.ARMS Yurakucho
Adress：1F Yurakucho Denki Building 1-7-1, Yurakucho,Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo
Caramel Butter Apple Pie JPY1,280(USD9.22)
R.C.style Fish & Chips JPY600(USD4.32)
You can enjoy British food All day because they serve from breakfast to dinner.There are many reflect current British culture which is influenced by other various culture.You can enjoy Japanese arrangements such as using soy sauce. On the other hand, they also serve traditional menu like full English breakfast. The mood is just like a Pub in England.This restaurant would be available for any use, (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea or coffee and alcohole)
Nozomu Hayashi "England is delicious"
（Heibonsha, published in March.1991)