Nana’s Japanese is built upon three important missions.
Mission 1) Bring Japanese home cooking to the UK
Nana’s Japanese has sprouted from delicious home-cooking memories. The owner-chef, Nana Hirayama, originally comes from the east side of Tokyo, the birthplace of Edo-style nigiri sushi. She grew up with authentic Japanese home cooking, beautifully prepared by her mum throughout her childhood. After having travelled around Japan and the world in pursuit of culinary pleasure, she can still proudly say her mum’s cooking is the best. So that’s how it
started. Her Mission No. 1 is to recreate her mum’s cooking in the UK with her twist.
You can truly enjoy a sense of staying in a Japanese home in Leamington Spa, in the heart of England! Many people think sushi is typical Japanese food, but Edo-style sushi (small vinegar-dressed rice balls with commonly raw fish on top) or makizushi (rolled sushi) is NOT Japanese home cooking. There is such a variety of delicious home cooking still
undiscovered by UK foodies. Nana is happy to be a Japanese home cooking ambassador to the UK.
Mission 2) Introduce Japanese eating culture
One of Nana’s signature lunch menu dishes - a tasting tray (or teishoku in Japanese) - represents her approach to Japanese-style home cooking. Using balanced, seasonal, varied ingredients and cooking methods, this daily changeable menu typically offers 5 different dishes served with a bowl of miso soup and bottomless (!) rice. Nana believes that a varied diet is key to health and joy in life. You’ll never get bored eating at Nana’s. This teishoku style also echoes Japanese mentality: Feel the season, embrace changes and variety in life, and find beauty in small things. Each main and side dish is served with a variety of Japanese small plates or bowls, placed in a designated position, exactly how Japanese people would serve it at home. The teishoku offers you a culinary and cultural experience that gets you
closer to the essence of Japan.
Donburi, or ‘don’ for short, is another standout on the menu. It is a popular style of food in Japan, consisting of a generous base of rice in a bowl, topped with meat and/or vegetables. As it’s relatively quick to make, you might say that donburi is the king of Japanese-style fast food! Plain rice is an unsung hero, in Nana’s view. It is a source of physical and mental energy, as well as being versatile, low allergy risk and genuinely a happy food. Nana always thinks carefully about what side dishes are the best for her customers to enjoy plain rice even more. You can see and feel her thoughts, creativity and passion in the combination of rice and topping in donburi dishes.
Mission 3) No compromise in authenticity
For Nana’s, authenticity is everything. Although Japanese cuisine is gaining popularity in the UK, sadly, not many restaurants currently available on the UK market provide authentically Japanese dishes, especially in terms of flavours, cooking methods, presentation etc. Since 2013, Japanese traditional cuisine has been added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list. This means the importance of being authentic has never been greater than now. Just being Japanese does not guarantee authenticity. Nana has built up the inspiration, skills, knowledge and experience to deliver true authenticity to customers. The pursuit of great Japanese food has no end. Nana continues to develop her knowledge of Japanese cooking and professional skills by training at an upmarket traditional Japanese restaurant in Tokyo, famous for puffer fish and Hamo (dagger-tooth pike conger), both known as traditional delicacies in Japan. Nana also wants Japanese residents in the UK and anyone who has travelled to Japan and tried food there to feel at home. That’s why she always aims to bring back typical drinks and seasoning from Japan, including sake (rice wine), a range of green teas, and matcha. Miso and dashi stock, the most important ingredients in miso soup,
are also from Japan.
For those who want to explore Japanese foods and culture on a deeper level, Nana also hosts cultural events and occasionally exhibits her food at food festivals.
Good authentic food can travel miles.
Please visit Nana’s and feel how the seed of authentic Japanese cooking is blooming in the heart of England.