The Restaurant of Love Regained – Ito Ogawa

The Restaurant of Love Regained is Ito Ogawa’s only book in English. I hope there’ll be many more cause I loved reading this light and cosy book. Sometimes you solely want to read something that would put a smile on your face and make you feel warm and fuzzy. This book is one those books plus the delicious Japanese cuisine. 


The Restaurant of Love Regained tells the story of Rinko and, the unexpected twist and turn life throws your way. When Rinko returns home from her part-time job at a Turkish restaurant, she witnesses that her Indian boyfriend took away everything, including the old and dirty doormat. Aside from the money she has saved for many years, she also realises that she has lost precious family heirlooms as well. Except for a little pickle jar full of pickles. She takes her jar and goes back to the village which she had left when she was only 15. The thing is, she just wants to steal money from her mum, but life has other plans for her. Including an enormous pig and a dear old friend.,

Rinko’s relationship with her mother and Rinko’s mother is an exciting thing to read by itself. That relationship develops rather slowly but it is weird, so it’s worth it!

The Restaurant of Love Regained - Ito Ogawa

The Restaurant of Love Regained and the love of food

Oh and the food in this book! I don’t want to spoil the book, but the title says a lot so here it goes. Rinko opens a nice restaurant back in the village. It becomes a thing. She serves only a table a day, so everything she does is highly sophisticated and catered attentively. Ito Ogawa has a real food blog, and she has many followers. Believe me; she knows how to write about food! You’ll be craving Japanese food while reading this so be prepared. Enjoy!


About the book: The Restaurant of Love Regained 

Food is like writing, it is a way to establish a contact with others. A good book is like a good dish, it can change your life. – Ito Ogawa

Extraordinary novel on food, love and the mother-and-daughter relationship. 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 maître 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 loveable gentleman all this happens at the Katatsumuri, the magic restaurant whose delicate food can heal any heartache and help its customers find love again.

About the author: Ito Ogawa

Born in 1973, Ito Ogawa is a Japanese singer and the author of several children’s books. The Restaurant of Love Regained, her first novel, is a bestseller in Japan and has been adapted into a successful movie. Ito runs a hugely popular website where she offers daily recipes of Japanese cuisine.

The Restaurant of Love Regained - Ito Ogawa

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Japanese Literature – A Literary Journey

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