If you’ve been to Taunton Farmers Market, you’ll have come across, and might well have eaten at, our amazing ‘Yatai Kitchen’ – a Japanese mobile street food cart.
We Brits tend to think Japanese food is either sushi, or sashimi – rice or raw fish – which is why the stall was originally called Not Just Sushi. If you eat there, or just walk by (if the taste-buds attached to your nose will let you) you’ll discover that Japanese cuisine is a lot more than that.
Whether it’s Chicken curry, pork and ginger (both with authentic sticky rice), vegetarian udon noodles, or steamed nikuman pork buns, or a host of other authentic dishes, the taste of Japanese street food at Taunton’s Farmers Market will get you in the mood to try a lot more of this misunderstood cuisine.
The man behind it all is Hideki Koike, Japanese by birth, who chose the UK as his home of choice when he was just 21 years old. Living in Britain has not lessened his connection with his birth country, though. He has recently changed his stall’s name to Kinori, a name which has personal meaning for him, yet which still conveys the cherry-blossom images we associate with Japan.
It takes years of practice and a lot of trial and error to be able to turn up at a blank spot on the ground at 8 am and have a fully-functional kitchen in place by 9 am. That, plus the skills of an authentic Japanese chef, make Kinori a much sought-after venue for his lunchtime customers.
You can find out more about Kinori on his facebook page, or on twitter, where you’ll discover his wonderful sense of humour and find information on where you can find him other than at Taunton Farmers Market.
This Thursday, get down to the High Street, check out his menu, and if you haven’t done so before, give his wonderful food a try. He’s often sold out by 2 pm, so if you want to eat there, best arrive early.