Finally it has happened; after years of sacrifice and money poured down the drain on frivolities such as education, one of my sons finally invited me to supper!

It was a long time coming, and when it came, the place he chose to celebrate his 27th birthday was Aoyama, a Japanese restaurant in the heart of the Ensanche district where restaurants abound.

What I liked about Aoyama was that they were practical and concerned about waste without being mean. Usually when restaurants have a Buffet Libre system, the less socially aware among us just order 10 of everything and leave enough food to feed Ethiopia chanting “I didn’t invent the system!”

Aoyama’s system is to charge you for every plate you don’t eat, but to give that money to an NGO, which although it may tempt some of us to be overly generous, keeps the ordinary among us in line.

The Sushi combinations are especially interesting, and although this is not junk food, they are actually served on a junk, a small boat that adds a little bit of authenticity, although I’m sure they wouldn’t do anything so tasteless in Japan. But as I’ve never been to Japan, I liked it anyway.

There are different menus for lunchtime (11.90€) and supper/weekends; the latter inevitably more expensive (19.90€), and a very interesting wine list, including Sake, which my son despite his 27 years, still describes as warm phlegm.

They do takeaways, and the food is fresh, tasty and the waitresses are really friendly and helpful, even if they disagree about what Aoyama means.

The decor is simple, with large colourful photos of a rural japan that probably doesn’t exist anymore outside of a restaurant wall.

The restaurant is open every day and can be found in calle Joaquin Costa 3. They’ve also opened another in calle Conde Altea 40, which closes on Mondays.

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