The Restaurant of Love Regained, by Ito Ogawa is a charming novel of food, cooking, relationships, love and…more food! Ito Ogawa gives such an extensive and detailed description of the preparation the main character goes into making her exquisite meals that you REALLY wish you were inside the book as one of the customers. This book is definitely for the foodies and amateur chefs out there 😉
The story is about our main character, Rinko, who one day goes back to her apartment in Tokyo, which she shares with her Indian boyfriend, to find it completely empty. Everything is gone, her fridge, kitchen tools, her Le Creuset casserole and of course her boyfriend. With nothing left for her in the big city, she decides to go back to the place she had left at age fifteen and not returned since: her natal village and mother’s home. Back in her village, Rinko decides to open up her own restaurant, The Snail, which will have the uniqueness of serving only one table a day. Her food does more than just fill empty stomachs, but mend people’s hearts too. Will her food be able to mend the most important relationship and heartbreak of all though?
I enjoyed the entire story as I read along, but it is really the ending that did it for me. Through food, Ito Ogawa reminds us that nurturing relationships is also essential. And sharing a meal just might be the way to break down those invincible boundaries that keep us from getting to know each other better and getting closer.
I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick but satisfying read. You can purchase a copy of the book from Alma books for only £2.99 till the 31st of December too!
For those of you interested there was also a feature film made called shokudo katatsumori. I won’t put up any trailers though so as not to spoil the book though 😉