Views #1096 | Intermediate (B1)

Japanese Restaurant

Danny talks with Alex about her favorite place to grab a meal and why she loves it there.

Alex: So, you know how we were talking about restaurants? What's your favorite restaurant?

Danny: I guess my favorite restaurant is going to be this one a in the small town near where I live on the coast. It's called Kotora, and it's an udon restaurant.

Alex: Udon. What's udon?

Danny: Udon is a kind of thick flour noodle. And the udon itself is noodles in a soup, so it's noodle soup with a really delicious broth. I think maybe they make it out of fish and soy sauce and perhaps meat, so you get this really delicious broth with these really great noodles in it.

Alex: I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Danny: Well, that's not even the best part. The best part is you get to pick various toppings for your udon. You can get fried shrimp, or fried vegetable , or you can get my favorite which is where they take an egg and crack it over right towards the end of the cooking and just barely cook it in there, and they do that with chicken. They have like chicken and noodles and they crack the egg over it.

Alex: Chicken and egg in the same noodle broth?

Danny: Yeah, in the same bowl.

Alex: That's interesting.

Danny: Yeah, it's like one big happy family.

Alex: Mother and child! So what does the restaurant look like? What's the decor?

Danny: Well, it's this really small restaurant. I think the owners actually live above it in the apartment, so it's this tiny place but like I said, it's in Japan, so it's a very, very traditional and Japanese. You walk in and there's this little hallway of the paper screen doors, and on the left there are a couple of actual sit-down tables but mostly the restaurant has all these raised floors with tatami mats.

Alex: Tatami mats? Now, I've heard of them. What are they?

Danny: Well, a tatami mat is a mat made out of reeds, and they just put them on the floors instead of having maybe a hardwood floor, or carpeting or something like that. It seems to make the floors a little bit softer and cushier.

Alex: So you actually sit on the floor to eat?

Danny: So yeah, you sit on the raised floor on these little mats and you have these really low tables, and you get to sit off in your own room that's been sectioned off by these paper doors.

Alex: It sounds wonderfully Japanese.

Danny: Oh, it is. It's very cute and then if you want you can also sit at the bar and you can watch them make the udon noodles. It's so much fun.

Alex: Sounds very traditional.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

just thinking about it


I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

When we think or hear about food, or drink, or something enjoyable or not, we often say we feel a certain way just thinking about it. The speaker is saying they feel a particular way just thinking about something. Notice the following:

  1. I get tired just thinking about work.
  2. I feel sad just thinking about that movie.



You crack the egg over the udon.

When you crack an egg over something, that means you break the shell of the egg so that the egg can fall out. People often crack the egg on the side of a pan or pot.

  1. You need to crack three eggs to make an omelet.
  2. I dropped the egg and it cracked open.



tatami mats make the floor cushier.

When something is cushy that means it is soft and comfortable. Cushy comes from the word cushion which is a large pillow on a couch. If you have a cushy job or cushy life, that means you have a really easy job or stress free life. Here are a few examples:

  1. These shoes are really cushy and comfortable.
  2. He has a very cushy job.

raised floor


You sit on the raised floor.

A raised floor is part of a floor that is higher then the rest of the floor. In Asia, some restaurants have a raised floor that people sit on with their shoes off. Notice the following:

  1. I like sitting on the raised floor more than sitting at a table.

sectioned off


You sit in a room that is sectioned off.

When an area is sectioned off that means a wall or rope surrounds the area so people cannot get in. Only people with permission can enter an areas that has been sectioned off. Notice the following examples.

  1. The police sectioned off the crime scene.
  2. Our party was sectioned off in a corner of the lobby.

Vocabulary Quiz

raised floor • crack it over • section off
cushy • just thinking of
  1. The police had to a part of the street due to the accident.
  2. Now, home makes me feel sad because I miss it.
  3. Take an egg and the bowl.
  4. This seat is really .
  5. I didn't see the and tripped.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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