The hurdle of acquiring Halal certification is high in Japan, a Muslim minority country. This is because as well as the costs of introduction, it is difficult to see future prospects after acquiring Halal certification as there are almost no case studies and corporate success stories in Japan.
“French cuisine Bistro YAMA” operated by Meisei is a company that has acquired Halal certification and I have been given the opportunity to interview Yuki Yamada, the person in charge.
– You have acquired Halal certification; exactly what kind of certification did you acquire?
We acquired Local Halal certification in early February of this year from Malaysia Halal Corporation Co., Ltd.
– Please tell me about how you acquired this Halal certification.
There were two reasons we acquired it:
1. We believed our restaurant has an opportunity to compete on taste, not on scale
2. We were expanding our facilities in other businesses and investment risk was low
– What are the characteristics of “Bistro YAMA”?
First, we have experienced chefs doing the cooking. “Bistro YAMA” is the oldest French restaurant in Saitama Prefecture and its owner-chef, Mr. Yamada, serves as the first president of the Saitama Prefecture Western Restaurant Union (Chef’s collaboration). We also have other chefs that have studied cooking in Lorraine, Alsace, and Loire.
Our dishes are made with carefully selected ingredients, and chemical seasoning and additives are not used. As a result, we have won many awards such as “Tabelog Best Restaurant 2010” and “Saitama S-class gourmet certification”.
We also manage stores in Saitama Prefecture facilities and hospitals, so we have a high awareness of publicness and sanitation. Visitors to our store in the Saitama Arts Theater can experience Japanese culture such as wadaiko, rakugo, and noh in the theater.
– Please give us three recommended dishes
・ Soft boiled abalone
・ Honewort and conger eel omelet
・ Ginkgo and maitake mushroom egg custard
– What did you expect from the acquisition of Halal certification?
We hoped to attract overseas high-income earners.
– What measures did you take, or what was difficult, in acquiring Halal certification?
Well, we made sure we had an abundance of channels. We found it difficult to deepen our staff’s understanding of Islam, a religion they had never had contact with before.
– Do you have an English menu? Can you provide service in English?
I work at “Bistro YAMA”, so English menus are available and service in English is possible.
– How can we make a reservation?
You can make a reservation by e-mail or telephone
– How can we get to Bistro YAMA?
It’s a 5-minute walk from JR Saikyo Line Yonohonmachi Station
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