By the end of the Showa era, Western-style restaurants were everywhere in Japan, and gratin dishes were standard items on every menu. For those of us who grew up in those days, gratin dishes were popular with everyone.

Then the old restaurants faded away, becoming French or Italian, bistros or trattorias. Gratin dishes were no longer popular, and it was hard to find a place that served them. Sometimes I’d ask for gratin at a restaurant, but the chefs wouldn’t make it, and I ended up looking foolish for asking. What a world to live in….

One day I couldn’t stand it any more. I bought some pasta and a few othe things and took it all to Cafe Bar Mikaduki and practically forced the chef to make it for me.

The master chef at Mikaduki is a coffee genius and well known as a board game specialist. His kitchen skills are equally renowned. The game brain and cooking brain may be similar.



After talking it over and negotiating with the master for a while, I finally got my gratin, and it was way beyond what I imagined. Then a few months later, the chef came up with his own recipe, the best ever. I call it Showa gratin!

Showa gratin will immerse the seniors who survived the Showa era in nostalgia. It may even cure their dementia. Heisei-born young people will learn to value the past. What is knowledge without gratin? Gratin is surely Japan’s Showa soul food.

Come on, people. Let’s have gratin tonight!

cafe bar Mikaduki(カフェバー・ミカヅキ)
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