Try flavours of Japan in Spalding

Thursdays and Fridays are popular days at Mimi’s Sandwich and Coffee Bar in Spalding.

That’s when the bar’s proprietor Mimi Webber adds the flavours of Japan to the normal lunch-time food selection.

Customers have come to love her Bento boxes, or lunch boxes filled with rice, a main dish of perhaps deep fried chicken or some other food marinated in Japanese flavours, and a vegetable side dish.

Mimi, who has been running the business in New Road for the past year, said: “I do it so people can try out the flavours of Japan, with meals cooked in the traditional way, not westernised.

“The customers love it and some just come back on Thursdays and Fridays for the Japanese food.”

That’s not the only flavour of Japan that Mimi is offering customers in town.

She also offers lessons in Japanese as well as the traditional Japanese art of folding paper, origami, something she does both at the shop or at other venues when asked.

As customers queue at the counter, they will also see that Mimi has on sale a variety of Japanese ornaments, sweets, little soup bowls, foodstuff and money envelopes, typically used to give money as presents in Japan.

She also sells little boxes containing a child’s sized kimono, sash and geta, or Japanese sandals.

Mimi occasionally wears the more informal version of this, called the yukata, and people are able to buy or hire these too.

Mimi explains the yukata is mainly worn in summer because it is generally made of quite thin material and it is worn as one layer.

“When you have the kimono you normally wear two, three or four layers and it is quite heavy,” explains Mimi, who wore a staggering 12 layers plus the traditional bride’s wig when she married her English husband Duncan in Japan.

They met when Mimi was studying administration and improving her English at Gloucester college.

Duncan visited once she returned to Japan to work and the pair of them decided they wanted to be together.

Eventually returning to the UK after their wedding, Mimi’s language skills took her to Thomas Cook at Peterborough and the couple moved to their home just outside Spalding five years ago.

Mimi says: “The business has ben going well in the last few months and I’ve had good feedback from customers.”