Among halal restaurants that are increasing in Japan in recent years, the new halal restaurant that opened in Ebisu, Tokyo called “Saishoku Teppan Ipin” will definitely qualify as one of the most unique restaurant among them. First such uniqueness is that instead of just remodeling existing restaurant into a halal style, the restaurant actually obtained halal certification as a new restaurant from the start. The second uniqueness is that the restaurant is owned by a Malaysian company. Lastly, the restaurant is very selective about providing fresh ingredients through the use of organic vegetables and the like.
We’ve decided to interview Takuya Arata who is the president of La Copakku Japan which displayed a booth at Japan Halal Expo 2014 at the end of the same month as its opening of the restaurant in November 3.
－First, please tell us about uniqueness of your restaurant.
Our company motto is “consideration to health & beauty through dining experience”. This motto is stemming from the philosophy which believes that eating truly safe and delicious food with fun spirit is intricately connected to the daily healthful living. Since Japanese food is known for its healthiness around the world, I believe I can combine it with my own restaurant business experience to produce something wonderful. So for “Saishoku Teppan Ipin”, our foundation is based on constantly thinking about how we can serve our customers who are truly seeking these kinds of health oriented food.
－Have you seen any result from halal certification?
The unique feature of our restaurant is that along with Japanese customers, we are seeing a lot of overseas customers. Since we offer regional fresh ingredients such as organic vegetables, we are seeing a lot of health-oriented people coming to our restaurant. We are also hearing many Muslim people living in Japan saying “Wow! This is the first time I am able to eat halal Wagyu-beef in Japan!” Based on such response, I believe halal certification has produced some positive results.
－What are some of the challenges in corresponding to halal?
Even though halal certification demands strict requirement from production stage all the way to final presentation to the customer, I can’t really say I am experiencing any kind of special challenge so far. This is probably due to the fact that our owner is currently operating restaurants in Malaysia, along with our company being staffed with Muslims who are living in Japan. Not just following the halal instruction, but since I am involved with staff on daily basis, I think we are creating environment that is naturally catering to halal.
－Please tell us your recommended dish.
First off, “Yaki-shabu” that uses hala beef produced with “amakusa” plant is definitely one of our most popular menu. The second is our domestic organic vegetables. Our company provides strictly selected seasonal vegetables through network of over 60 farmhouses and business operators throughout Japan.
－What kind of reaction did you get from your exhibition at Japan Halal Expo 2014.
Our sample tasting booth was operating at its maximum capacity. Not just the Muslim guests, but we were able to hear positive response from people who tried our samples with response such as “it is tasty and delicious!” We were also able to obtain people signing up for the reservation for our restaurant on the spot, so I think it’s safe to say that we had fruitful response. We were also able to liven up the event with the appearance of our mascots “Upin & Ipin”, which is also the origin of our restaurant name.
－Please tell us about your future prospect.
With “Saishoku Teppan Ipin” as our initiative, we are going to expand Japan quality halal washoku restaurants on nationwide scale. We are planning to open a new type of restaurant in Tokyo by the beginning of next year, and after that, we are under consideration in launching restaurants at various tourist spots in Japan. It is our company’s utmost desire to be able to serve Japanese and overseas customers who are truly seeking for healthy food. So we would greatly appreciate your kind support.
IPPIN Official Website
The list of Halal Restaurants, Bento and Online store in Japan:
List Halal Restaurant Bento Online Store Japan