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Memories of Murakami

THE ASIAN AGE. | CHERYLANN MOLLAN
Published : Jul 20, 2018, 12:47 am IST
Updated : Jul 20, 2018, 12:47 am IST

A pop-up dinner will feature dishes that draw inspiration from Haruki Murakami’s works.

Shirin Mehrotra and Shriya Shetty
 Shirin Mehrotra and Shriya Shetty

In the short story The Second Bakery Attack, novelist Haruki Murakami intuitively lets food serve as an analogy for longing and uses it as a medium to explore personalities, feelings and inner workings of his characters. Taking a leaf out of Murakami’s short, chef Shriya Shetty and travel and food writer, Shirin Mehrotra have come up with Murakami’s Kitchen Table, a pop-up dinner that will serve up a sumptuous, six-course meal inspired from his books. The pop-up is the second offering of The Literary Table, which conducts a series of pop-up dinners that feature menus inspired by famous books. “We wanted to create an environment where people who love books and food can come together to share a meal,” says Shriya.

The dinner will feature dishes that draw inspiration from Murakami’s works, but the culinary translations aren’t always literal. “We don’t just recreate dishes mentioned in the books, because that can be done by anyone. We create our own renditions of these dishes. Some dishes have been inspired by moments in the book while others by seasons and sceneries,” explains the chef. For instance, in Norwegian Wood a scene has the lead characters, Toru and Naoko come across a bottomless well. Their moment of discovery transpires in a landscape that is lush green, with bright red birds fluttering around. “So, we came up with a dish that combines pomegranates, fresh greens, toasted walnuts, molasses and a balsamic reduction. The colours of the dish are reminiscent of that scenery,” she explains.

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The other culinary dishes include a clam and udon dish inspired by Kafka By The Shore, a stew inspired by a song in Norwegian Wood, a three onion salad (that finds repeated mention in Murakami’s works), 30 big Macs, which is based on The Second Bakery Attack and even a dish that fuses pancakes, coca cola and canned peaches. “We will also be serving beer and a whiskey called Cutty Sark — Murakami’s favourites,” says Shriya. In a bid to capture his musical inclinations, the duo has invited a jazz band to play the covers of Murakami’s favourite songs and the ones from his books. “We explain the story behind every dish so that people can connect with the literary work and the dish. So, this dinner is for anyone eager to experiment and at the same time, explore the brilliance of a good author,” concludes Shriya.

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Murakami’s Kitchen Table pop-up dinner will be on July 21 at Savor Kitchen, Parel. More details on Instagram @theliterarytable

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Tags: shirin mehrotra, cutty sark, murakami