Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Cooking: The Restaurant of Love Regained

Title: The restaurant of Love Regained
Author: Ito Ogawa
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Food, Family
Publisher: Alma Publishing Company
Release date: July 2011 (First published 2008)
Length: 193 pages
I got this book: Bought it on a book market

From Goodreads:
"Returning home from work, Rinko is shocked to find that her flat is totally empty. Gone are her TV set, fridge and furniture, gone are all her kitchen tools, including the old Meiji mortar she has inherited from her grandmother and the Le Creuset casserole she has bought with her first salary. Gone, above all, is her Indian boyfriend, the maĆ®tre d’ of the restaurant next door to the one she works in.

She has no choice but to go back to her native village and her mother, on which she turned her back ten years ago as a fifteen-year-old girl. There she decides to open a very special restaurant, one that serves food for only one couple every day, according to their personal tastes and wishes. A concubine rediscovers her love for life, a girl is able to conquer the heart of her lover, a surly man is transformed into a lovable gentleman – all this happens at the The Snail, the magic restaurant whose delicate food can heal any heartache and help its customers find love again".

Personal opinion:
I found the blurb really promising but I can tell you this book wasn't as good as I had hoped. In the beginning it was interesting enough even though the plot was thinner than I expected. Even so, I enjoyed it as a light read. The little stories of the visitors of the Snail were nice to read inbetween the main story. However nearing the end of the book, things take a really weird turn that is very vegetarian unfriendly, to say the least. And while I know that from their point of view it is a sign of respect, it took a lot of the fun out it for me. Mainly because everything was very detailed, I had to skip some pages during that part of the book. Normally I would say I did like the book for light summer reading, but that part just leaves me with a bitter aftertaste. If you are not a vegetarian and you are looking for a light read, than this might be enjoyable for you, but it isn't as special and unique as I hoped it would be.

Purchase links: The Book Depository
Challenges: Foodies Reading Challenge
Other reviews: In Spring it is the Dawn, Always Cooking Up Something, Chasing Bawa,
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)

This post is part of Weekend Cooking. Please make sure you check out the other participants for reviews on foodie books and other food related content.


  1. Oops. Sorry this one took a nose-dive for you.

  2. Thanks for linking me! I felt the same about the last part... this book did not reach the heights of Chocolate :/

    1. Thanks for reminding me! I need to read some more foodie books to complete the challenge. I think I must read Chocolat for sure :)

  3. Sorry the book was disappointing for you, it sounded like it had a nice start.

  4. I am getting a bit suspicious of these special restaurant/food books.

  5. Oh, sorry that you didn't like this one. I guess they can't all be winners.

  6. This novel is not one I had heard about, but your lukewarm review helps by expanding my knowledge of what is out there in bookland. Think I'll pass.

  7. Don't you hate that, reading an excerpt or the book jacket and getting all excited about the plot.....then disappointed. Well, you never know until you get deep into a book. Sometimes I abandon the book because there are so many in my to-read pile!

  8. Interesting review. Have a nice week.