There’s no denying that Tokyo is a paradise for foodies. The city is often referred as the culinary capital and continues to boast the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world — a total of 230 compared with second-place Paris’ 118.
But having lived (and gloriously stuffed my face) in Japan’s capital for the last three years, there’s one food experience I miss from my home in L.A.
I really miss throwing dinner parties for friends and I miss going to them as well. There’s just something about being in the comfort of a home, relaxing, eating, and talking without feeling rushed like you sometimes can when eating out. For me, having an authentic home-cooked Japanese meal with local people can be an experience unmatched by any restaurant— however many Michelin stars it might have.
Experiencing “Tadaku — with locals”
Happily, I recently got the chance to experience a new service called “Tadaku — with locals,” a platform that offers both cooking classes and ready-made home dining experiences at Japanese homes.
Both the cooking course and dinner party courses are run by a community of local foodies keen to share their expertise and love of Japanese food with foreign guests. Both also include casual and fancy options. The casual options include a random group of four to six guests while the fancy options are private.
Once you’ve picked the course, you have to fill out a detailed questionnaire allowing them to match you with the perfect host. They’ll ask a variety of things, including what kind of foods you want to try. You also get to mention your budget and what you are looking to get out of the experience to ensure you get exactly what you want.
My “Dining Course” experience
More eager to experience a Japanese dinner party than learn recipes, I chose the second option. One feature that really appealed to me about the service is that they choose a host according to your specific dietary preferences and restrictions, as well as other needs you disclose in the questionnaire.
As someone who values organic local produce, I was matched with Aya, a lovely lady who has experience cooking organic Japanese food and was also an experienced pastry chef.
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