Sometimes it seems that we are surrounded by borders. Country borders make it difficult for us to move from one point to another. Cultural borders cause us some problems in understanding each other. Language borders can be felt all the time - when we communicate, when we want to read a book that hasn’t been translated yet, or even when we search something on the net. But all borders disappear when it comes to love and… food.
Less than three years ago, in a busy street of Ichibancho, a new Kebab & Dining Bar Spinners opened its doors. Doner Kebab is an extremely popular fast food in the Middle East and Europe, but in Japan it is seen rather rarely. The owners, a young international couple (husband is from Israel and wife is Japanese) already have an Oriental Dining Bar called Middle Mix, that is famous both among Japanese and internationals living in Sendai. “Why don’t you try opening a Kebab store in Sendai?”, they were frequently asked by their visitors. And the two decided to give it a try.
So what is a Doner Kebab? First of all, this is where the name of the place comes from. Doner means “spinning” - the meat, pickled in yoghurt with spices, is being piled on a spinning vertical rotisserie and roasted on a grill. Roasted meat is eaten with vegetables and pita or flatbread, so it is a rather healthy type of fast food. In Spinners, it is served with a variety of sauces, so you can choose if you want it hotter or milder. My own favourite is Turkish teriyaki - sweet and juicy, that goes very well with thoroughly grilled meat and fresh vegetables.
“No borders in food - that’s our motto!”, says the owner, Somech Chizuru. She is trying her best to make her guests feel special. No matter if you speak Japanese or not - the stuff can speak English very well. The meat is halal (they use chicken), so Muslims are welcome. And there are option for vegans, too - like crunchy falafel, a type of deep-fried croquettes made from ground chickpeas, Israeli favourite fast food, beloved by many people around the world.
There are no borders in time as well. You can grab your kebab on the way, have a proper lunch with rice and a soft drink, or you can come in the evening to enjoy the relaxing Oriental atmosphere of the bar while sipping a drink or smoking Nargilah - a smoking pipe on a water basin, an incredible experience of taste and scent, that should be tried at least once.
I don’t know if it is possible to build a borderless society, but at least we can experience it right now, in Sendai. Just come to Spinners!
4 Chome-2-12 Ichibancho, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Hours: Weekdays - 11:30-23:30, Holidays - 11:30-0:30
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