At the weekend, I went to London. For lunch on the Saturday, I ate at my favourite okonomiyaki restaurant this side of Tokyo. In fact, I don’t know of any other okonomiyaki restaurants in the UK. When I lived in Japan, okonomiyaki was one of my favourite dishes (joint with chilli raamen and perhaps just above tsukune – also known as duck balls).
The seating in this restaurant was like no other I have come across in the UK. The main dining area is in a square horse shoe shape around the centre. The seats themselves are quite high. They are more like benches than seats as such, They have a lid. On arrival you are asked to place your your coat and bag inside the seat. Then you sit on the lid and, as the seats are quite high and unless you are six feet tall or above, you dangle your feet down.
So when I did this, I felt an odd sense of comfort. I thought weirdly about this. After two minutes of deep contemplation I concluded that this comfort is a Proustian / Freud uncanny-childhood-memory thing. I reasoned that I liked the sensation of dangling my feet because as a child, my feet always dangled wherever I sat. It was lovely to sit and dangle. I really did feel comforted.
The food was pretty lush too.