TOKYO: A five minute walk from Tokyo’s Jujo railway station, a small Palestinian restaurant called Bisan serves popular Levantine flavors like falafel and hummus to Japanese patrons.
Named after an ancient Palestinian town, Bisan offers customers a traditional experience ranging from cuisine to music.
The owner and chef Sudqi Mansour welcomes his customers with good humor and a chance to taste the offerings of his homeland.
A visitor told Arab News Japan that he had already traveled to Palestine to meditate at the tomb of Christ. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, he could no longer go there but he was happy to be able to taste Arab food in the heart of Tokyo.
The intimate atmosphere of the restaurant shows that it remains connected to Palestine, with flags hanging on the walls, photos of former leader Yasser Arafat, messages of peace, a map of Palestine, Shishas and dromedaries adorn the baroque decor of the restaurant.
In the kitchen, Chef Mansour is usually busy preparing the orders by cutting the ingredients with an expert hand. He said it took about 5 hours to prepare the hummus, which is the pride and reputation of Bisan, which opened in January 2011.
It was while traveling to join a family member that Mansour decided to settle in a peaceful country in Japan to introduce Palestinian cuisine to Japanese foodies.
Most of his visitors are Japanese although he occasionally has Saudi or French diners. The restaurant is open Saturday and Sunday at lunchtime and weekdays from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and reservations are possible by phone.