Mayotini, anyone?

There are many things that I like about Japan and its culture: Yaki soba, okonomiyaki, yukata, chopsticks, tea, cherry blossom festivals, respect, hokusai, love of nature. However, some things I don’t think I will ever fully understand, such as bizarre physical contests masquerading as game shows, manga, anime, strange food like corn ice cream and sea cucumber, and restaurants such as…

Mayonnaise Kitchen.

That’s right, a restaurant devoted to mayonnaise. It’s become somewhat of an obsession among young Japanese, who call themselves “mayolers,” or mayo fanatics. The photo at right is of a “Mayoty Dog”… a vodka drink made with mayonnaise, with mayo on the rim!! Mayo! In your perfectly good vodka! Might as well add some tunafish and chopped onion while you’re at it!!

Mayonnaise Kitchen also allows customers to purchase their own personal bottle of mayonnaise that the restaurant keeps on tap for whenever they dine, which I find really bizarre.

I guess maybe it could be compared to a restaurant devoted to chocolate, or wine, or another singular gourmet ingredient… But mayonnaise? Come on! It’s an American white-trash condiment! If you go to the grocery store you’ll find eight billion different kinds of mustard, but mayonnaise is pretty much mayonnaise. I can’t see how you can build an entire restaurant around it.
For me, mayo has exactly two uses: in homemade Ranch dressing, and in tuna or chicken salad. That’s it. Not spread on sandwiches, not as a dip, and certainly not in my martini!


  1. Anonymous

    Ok, so japanese mayo is not like the trash ingredient (whip anyone?) that we have here on hotdogs and spead like white asphalt on most sandwiches. Go to a good asian grocery store and get the real mayo. My favorite is Masa-san’s hotate: Take raw Alaska scallops, filet them over rice, layer on the japanese mayo, hit them with a blow-torch until the top of the mayo carmelizes.
    Suki des!
    The japanese stuff is a little to rich for the regular user–I got scolded for putting it on panini one day.

  2. Katy

    Caramelized mayo? Horrors!!

    I don’t think I will ever like mayonnaise enough to attempt the recipe you just described.

    There are things I have learned to like as I have gotten older — bell peppers (happened gradually), red wine (thanks to Clint and grenadine), tomatoes (thanks to an ex and some basil and good balsamic vinegar), squash (again, gradually), and beer (imported only, please). But mayonnaise is probably never going to be on that list.

    (Oh, I just remembered Acceptable Use #3 for mayonnaise: peanut butter and pickle sandwiches with mayo. I’m totally serious! Everyone thinks I’m insane! Use natural peanut butter and good crisp dill pickles, and it’s awesome!)

  3. Katy

    Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it!! 🙂

    I will admit that I do like some weird food combinations, though. This is assuredly one of them.

    I thought of one other thing that I didn’t used to like that I do now: dark chocolate. I know, can you believe I didn’t used to like that?!

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