A Bury St Edmunds couple are on a mission to help people experience real Japanese food by inviting them to literally : Come Dine With Us!
Kaori and Guy Dawson have devised an innovative supper club which sees the couple open their home on Garland Street for pre-booked guests to try real home-cooked Japanese food.
Popular on the continent, supper clubs are rare in the UK but Mr and Mrs Dawson have been seeing their home– based business grow since they first began cooking for guests, two years ago.
“Guy and I lived in Japan for 20 years and after moving to Bury, friends would nag us to try authentic Japanese food,” said Kaori.
“They then told their friends and it just grew from there .
“At first we had a lot of Americans from the air bases who had tried Japanese food in Okinawa and couldn’t find it here.
“Now we take bookings of six to eight people at a time, some who know each other and others who don’t.”
Called the Suzuki Supper Club, the couple offer two styles of dining: a sushi evening or a tradional Japanese meal.
In Japan, there are no definable starters, main courses or desserts, with food arriving constantly in different sizes dishes.
The sushi evening is only held on Wednesdays and Saturdays when there is fresh fish available from the town market.
“The Japanese are very fussy about the fish they use for sushi as it has to be caught and eaten the same day.
“People are generally surprised when they try ours as it’s nothing like they might have sampled from the supermarket.
“It’s at room temperature insead of cold, we teach them how to make a cone made from genuine Japanese seaweed, and it doesn’t come with a pineapple on top.”
Mrs Dawson, who is orginally from Kanazawa, a seaside town in Japan, also runs a food stall on Bury market.
“I grew up close to Omicho market, one of the most famous fish markets in Japan, where my mother would shop.
“I still use some her recipes for our dishes and we import most of the ingredients to make sure our dishes are the genuine thing.”
Added Mr Dawson: “Sometimes we’ll sit with the guests but others, we will just serve them like a traditional Japanese restaurant.”