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Translated By DeepL

Let's Eat vol.1Only store that is prepared to be at heart with biryani. The determination and strength of the shop.
MONTHLY JOURNAL JUNE 2022

Let's Eat vol.1
The only store that is prepared to be at heart with Biryani. Its determination and strength.

In 2021, "Biryani Osawa" opened in Kanda, serving only biryani. We just want to make delicious biryani. To create a restaurant that embodies this desire, the amount of money raised through crowdfunding, with a goal of 5 million yen, exceeded 13 million yen. This alone shows the overwhelmingly high expectations that Mr. Osawa has for biryani. The restaurant, which he opened with the spirit of "Biryani or Die!" is open by reservation only, and the menu consists of biryani, beverages, and that's it! Please try to feel the strength of a man who is determined to live on this one thing.

PROFILE

Takamasa Osawa

Born in Nagano, Japan in 1989. Encountering biryani in South India on a business trip, he became a biryani swamp. While deepening his knowledge of Indian cuisine and spices at "Garam Masala" in Kyodo, he also tried to master biryani at "Biryani House," a shared house for biryani, and "Biryani Masala," a rented biryani restaurant. He quit "Garam Masala" after his health failed due to the shock of not being able to make biryani because of the Corona disaster, and later opened "Biryani Osawa" in Kanda in August 2021 after raising funds through crowdfunding.

Biryani made with reason.

I once visited Mr. Osawa's "Biryani House" and was shocked to see more than 30 people, all of whom were strangers to each other, gathered in the living room of a house to eat a large plate of biryani. What kind of place was it really?

Biryani tastes better when cooked in a large pot at a time. We chose this share house because it has a kitchen that can cook biryani in a large pot, and even if you cook a large amount, if there are many people living together, they can consume it. As you said, more than 30 people gathered in the living room and ate the freshly cooked biryani that was served on a platter. It was a very ideal style of serving biryani in a "biryani house. But the Corona disaster made it impossible for large groups of people to gather, and since it was said that this would continue for years, I thought that the "biryani house" and biryani were both dead.

I'd like to talk about that later, but first, what was your first encounter with biryani like?

After graduating from college, I had a job that had nothing to do with food and beverage, but I liked to travel, so I made up a reason to go to India on a business trip. It was in South India, but I thought I didn't like South Indian food that much, so I was eating around and found "biryani" on the menu. I tried it, and it was so delicious that I was hooked.

During my stay in India, my daily objective was to find biryani, and I repeatedly ate biryani all day long. When I came back to Japan and tried to eat biryani, I couldn't find any at all around 2010, and even if I did, it was like a Japanese version of biryani-style fried rice, with no vestiges of biryani left at all. No matter where I went, I couldn't find it! I was really frustrated, but they agreed to make it for me if I rented out the restaurant.

I see that there was one more step before you started making your own products.

I tried to rent out the restaurant, but I was a little over 20 years old at the time and couldn't get 20-30 people who wanted to eat biryani at once, so I sent out messages on mixi asking, "Would you like to eat biryani on this day? I would send a message on mixi saying, "Would you like to have biryani on this day? Some of them would get mad at me even though I was just inviting them to a nice meal.

Mr. Osawa says, "Biryani tastes better if it is made in a big pot." Is the reason why you rent out your restaurant?

It tastes better if you make a lot at once, and biryani takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. For example, in our case, it takes 4 hours of cooking time with just one of these pots. It can finally be done by fully utilizing a five-burner stove. Even a smaller amount of a simple recipe takes 2 to 3 hours. So if a curry shop tries to do it, they don't like it because they can't do other preparations.

I see.

As I was doing various things, such as renting out the restaurant, starting the "Japan Biryani Association," and organizing "Biryani Making Groups," I thought that perhaps it would be better if I made the biryani myself. So I tried making biryani for the first time and found that the level was quite high in my mind. I thought, "If this is the case, it would be much better to make it myself. I am not proud of it, but even now when I go to eat biryani at other famous restaurants, the taste is on the same level as the biryani I made for the first time. I have evolved over the past 10 years.

You were not into making curry, for example?

I was so excited to do research that I even bought my first spices to make biryani, although I was incredibly addicted to fried rice. Now that I have a better resolution, I understand that people with culinary talent go into the world of fine cuisine, such as Japanese cuisine, French cuisine, innovative cuisine, and so on. But of course, not all of them, but there are many people who are not good in the Indian food industry, so if you do it right, that's all you need to do (laughs).

A: At that time, when recipes were not yet available, what did you rely on to make it?

I had no intention of making it, but I was a "dedicated eater" so.... I wonder how you did it...I think I looked it up on the Internet.

I'm sure you've updated the recipe quite a bit since then.

I dislike recipes a great deal because they only contain procedures. The procedure is created because there is some purpose, but it has to convey what the goal is. For example, even if it says it should be boiled enough, do you want to boil it down or keep it at 100 degrees? Depending on that, the water content of the finished menu will be totally different. In other words, both the salinity and the taste of the ingredients will change.

In my recipes, I basically only write down the quantities. I give the best values and ratios based on my past experience. I have always loved chemistry, and I can make a dish taste great just by cooking with a chemical mindset. If I think, "This process aims to create this condition," I can make it normally.

Cooking is a science.

From my point of view, what else is there besides science? I don't have any sense. I don't have a sense of taste, so I just make things based on reason. Top-level great chefs have a good sense of taste, but they are the ones who can offer tastes that no one else can come up with and that impress everyone who eats them.

INFORMATION

Biryani Osawa

Sato Bldg. B1F, 1-15-12 Uchikanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Full reservations are required. Reservations can be made bythis way (direction close to the speaker or towards the speaker)From.

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