I watched this lovely 2006 Japanese film called “Kamome Shokudou” this afternoon and absolutely loved it. The title means “Seagull Diner,” the name of the coffee shop where the movie takes place.
The story revolves around Sachiko (center), who opens a Japanese diner / coffee shop in Helsinki in hopes of introducing the Japanese “soul food” to the Finnish. She doesn’t want to serve sushi or other more commonly accepted “mainstream” food even if that means more people will come to the coffee shop. Instead, she sticks to serving lesser known but delicious “comfort” food like onigiri (rice balls) with umeboshi (dry plums) and okaka (bonita), which are still very foreign to the Finnish palette. Because of this, the store remains empty for many, many days.
The story introduces many interesting characters (both Finnish and Japanese) that slowly but eventually come through the door, and showcases the newly-formed friendships that extend beyond culinary, cultural and linguistic differences — with the beautiful city of Helsinki in the backdrop.
I hope the movie will be available in an English subtitle because I really think any food lovers out there will absolutely enjoy this flick. Thanks to friend N for recommending this fabulous movie!