Spend New Year Alone?  The restaurant has special “kosechi” meals for one person

Spend New Year Alone? The restaurant has special “kosechi” meals for one person

In Japan, part of the traditional New Year celebration is eating osechi, a sumptuous selection of gourmet bites, each with some sort of promising aspect to their name or appearance. Due to its gourmet character, osechi tends to be difficult to prepare yourself and expensive to buy ready-made, but classically minded foodies feel that it is worth the effort / investment to share such a special meal with your family.

But what if you have no plans to see your family, or anyone else, for the New Year? Don’t worry, for the conveyor belt sushi chain Kura Sushi (also known as Kurazushi) now has osechi for people starting the new year alone.

Spend New Year Alone?  The restaurant has special “kosechi” meals for one person

It is called kosechi, or “Little Osechi,” set, and it’s a scaled-down osechi range for one. First of all, there is a jumbo shrimp that is supposed to give you a long life, under the popular wisdom that you get old enough to one day have a back as bent as the crumpled shrimp. The two pieces of kamaboko fish cakes are in red and white, which is considered a lucky, festive color combination in Japan.

The good wishes are at their most direct with the tofu block carrying the kanji kotobukior “happiness”. The remaining two pieces, stewed shiitake mushrooms and kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), are less common members of the osechi cast, but in the case of shiitake, their status as a delicacy gives an atmosphere of beginning the year on a culinary high note. As for the kabocha, because the squash-like vegetable nutrients are said to be effective in preventing colds, it is traditionally eaten at winter solstice and sometimes slips into the osechi a little over a week later. Plus the specific variant of the kosechi set is called Ebisu kabocha, named after Ebisu, one of Japan’s seven gods of happiness who bestows wealth and prosperity.

And of course, if you are hoping to start the new year the right way, you will want to end your meal with dessert, and then Kura Sushi also has two special seasonal sweets. First is what appears to be kagami mochi, the stack of rice cakes topped with a mandarin, which Japanese families put as New Year’s decoration. In reality, however, what Kura Sushi offers, however, is a confectionery made from sweet bean paste with strawberry flavor.

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There’s also a sweet bean paste tiger as Japan moves on, switching to the next Chinese zodiac sign in line on January 1st.

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Kosechia is priced at 500 yen and the desserts at 220 yen each, so eating all three should not blow up your food budget for the year and they are all available as food items in Kura Sushi branches.

Source, photos: Press release

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