I realize it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here, and I guess I apologize for that. Truth is, real life has been much more interesting than anything online, so that’s where I’ve been focusing my energies. But today, I did feel compelled for some reason to write about this egg restaurant.
For the past year, almost every single week, I’ve patronized this omuraisu place near my office. Omuraisu (オムライス) means “omelet rice”. It’s a type of youshoku, which means Western-style cooking. I believe it came to Japan during the Meiji restoration. Anyway, it’s basically flavored rice (usually with ketchup and maybe some onions) with an omelet on top of it. It’s really great (and unhealthy) comfort food. By the way, there’s a lot of other great comfort food in Japan that Americans probably don’t know much about, like karaage (fried chicken), ramen, and curry rice.
The point is, I’ve decided to call it off with the egg place.
Now, the omuraisu has been consistently fantastic. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the dishes: ”Indokuriimu Omuraisu”, which is a nicely spiced rice with a curry sauce and a little cream, ”Napoli Omuraisu”, a tomato-based sauce with maybe a little nasu, ”Hokkaido Kuriimu Omuraisu”, with potatoes, corn, and a demi-glace sauce, ”Amerika Omuraisu” with steak and a brown sauce, “Japan All-Star Omuraisu” with oroshi(grated daikon) and some other Japanese-style toppings. With the A, B, C, or D lunch (which run from about 850 yen to 1030 yen), you also get soup, salad, and a juice of your choice. I personally rotated between the choices of lychee, guava, mango, and pineapple.
And the service was exemplary, even for Japan. At Japanese restaurants, you get accustomed to being waited on hand and foot, so it takes something really special to be noticed. But “Egg For You” go out of their way. For example, whenever a customer would leave, a staff member is sure to shout out ”Okyakusama kaeri desu!” (A customer is leaving!), and the entire staff sincerely bellows ”Arigatou gozaimasu!” (Thank you very much!).
But there have always been a few things that really annoyed me about the place. Number one, without question, is the music. For this entire year, they have played the exact same CD every single day. (I was hoping it maybe depended on what day of the week it was, but I’ve been there on different days and it’s always the same.) Here are some of the songs on that CD: Beach Boys - “Kokomo”, “Pocketful of Paradise”, Orleans - “Still the One”, and some other reggae-style songs (but no real reggae). Anyway, it’s not that bad to listen to once, but every single week? too much. But the real thing is, I can’t see how people can work there day after day after day. I would blow my brains out if I had to listen to the same 20 songs over and over for over a year. I think that’s why the staff, as polite as they are, really seem like unthinking robots. (Hmm, I wonder if that’s why the staff at Mujirushi also seem similarly soulless…) To tell the truth, in that year, there’s only one staff that’s stayed that whole time, so that might be a reason for the high turnover rate.
But today was the last straw. There were tiny, oh so inconsequential straws that broke the camel’s back. One was, to be sure, not the restaurant’s fault, but it was annoying enough - the guy in the table next to me was chain-smoking through the entire meal. Just a big turnoff, no doubt about it. But the final nail in the coffin was the water. I have a very set routine (surprised?) when I come into the place - after eating, I do my little Nintendo DS kanji practice for about half an hour. So I always require an extra glass of water (or two). Up until now, they’ve come completely unsolicited to refill my empty garasu. But today, even though they were not at all busy, no one even walked by the table to see if I needed anything.
Sorry, Egg For You. It’s been good while it lasted. But it’s over.