Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Japan: Swagat

February 5th, 2010 · 6 Comments

When travelling, one of my big challenges is always food. Jain food (vegetarian; no onion / garlic) is the norm. Even though I do carry some food with me, there is nothing like a good hot meal! I normally end up doing a heavy breakfast at the hotel, and then hope for one meal at an Indian restaurant. Experimentation on the food front is a strict No-No for me!

I found an Indian restaurant right opposite ANA Intercontinental in Tokyo. With a name like Swagat, I figured I could get them to make me some Jain food! Even during our previous Tokyo visit, Bhavana and I had found a few Indian restaurants and gotten them to make Jain dishes.

Swagat turned to be a revelation.  I ended up having one meal there for all the days that I was in Tokyo. The food was just like home-cooked food, and very filling. I also struck up a good conversation with the manager (Mr. Shetty, who has been in Tokyo for 17 years) through the days.

So, the food problem resolved itself – as it always does!

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kasi // Feb 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

    No Onion? Never in your food?

    I always hated Onions in my childhood… but
    I remember my mother telling me … “if you don’t take onion…you will get eye problems (vision) later” and forced me to eat onions.

  • 2 confidential // Feb 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Jain diet means you may not be drinking also. How do you cope up with that? With international travel, attending business conferences,post conference gatherings etc. Everyone has a glass and expect the same from you. How do you say no to peer pressure?

    I am only 22 and already face this problem of saying no for drinks. Feels like outcasted. 🙁

  • 3 B Shantanu // Feb 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    @ confidential: I could not help smiling after reading your comment!

    You have got to be firm…I started my career as a diplomat (and I am sure you know about cocktail parties!), spent a number of years in Japan – where drinking is considered almost essential to bonding…and then spent many many years in Vennture Capital – including attending a lot of conferences and other such events…

    Never had to drink to “fit-in”…and still managed to make lots of friends…
    If you are polite but firm, people will respect you…the ones who form an opinion based on your not drinking are the ones you should not care about!

  • 4 Manan Shah // Feb 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Jain food, IITian!!
    Can’t believe!!

  • 5 RayChenon // Feb 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I’ve been following this blog for a few months and didn’t the author was Jain ( I should his name is made up ). Just the week-end reading is worth following.

    I came back from a trip to Mumbai. I once tasted Jain cuisine, it was a revelation. My favorite is corn bhel

  • 6 Vishal // Feb 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hats off to you!!
    Its very hard to maintain jainism in foreign countries. Specially about the food..
    Superb!!..

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