Sunday, December 03, 2006

#214 So Yu Mon Penne

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Sunday Kitchen #26

So Yu Mon Penne

Sometimes I think the service in Japan is good, sometimes I think it’s excellent, and sometimes I think it’s just average or bad.
There have only been two occasions that I remember when the service was outrageously terrible.
One of those times was last year in Niseko. We went to a restaurant and ordered pasta. It was penne. Unfortunately, the pasta wasn’t cooked enough. This is the first time I’ve been served undercooked pasta in Japan – and I’ve eaten quite a lot of pasta. But I wasn’t too surprised because I don’t expect the food at a restaurant in a resort town to be as good as at a restaurant in a normal city.
We politely pointed out the problem to the waitress and she went and told the chef. She then came back and firmly told us that there was no problem with the pasta. The chef had cooked it according to the instructions on the packet so that was how it was supposed to be. She said the chef had said: “penne wa sou yu mon desu.” Which means something like “this how Penne is supposed to be cooked.”
We disagreed but she forcefully continued the Penne lecture and didn’t want to make the pasta again – so we left and went to a different restaurant.
The whole event was so shocking that I never forgot the phrase and it moved onto high rotate in my extensive list of useless Japanese phrases: Penne wa sou yu mon!
To celebrate the almost one year anniversary of this eventful happening, I decided to make penne. I called it “So Yu Mon Penne”.
I cooked eggplant with mushrooms and red peppers in olive oil and salt and pepper and chili.
I cooked the asparagus in water then mixed it in with the other vegetables.
I cooked the penne according to the instructions on the packet ... however long that was.
I got a bit bored half way through so I poured myself a glass of wine.
The penne tasted alright I think. I can’t really remember cause it was a few weeks ago now. But I’m sure it tasted better than the original So Yu Mon Penne.