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A Japanese food blogger who originally thought British cuisine was 'rubbish' has changed her mind after falling in love with carveries - saying she now simply 'can't say no' to a lamb and beef roast.
Ariyo Fukui wasn't expecting much from British food when she moved from Tokyo to Bristol last September, having only really heard about fish and chips.
But the 27-year-old was won over when she visited a local family-run carvery, where she had her first, life-changing taste of a good old roast dinner.
At first, she was overwhelmed by the 'massive portions', but it didn't take long before she became a firm fan of the dish - which she now also cooks regularly at home.
In fact, Fukui loves a roast so much that she finds one meat is never enough - usually opting for lamb, beef, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, stuffing, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings at her favourite carvery, having first visited the restaurant with her English boyfriend.
Fukui, a transnationalism and tourism graduate, said the Sunday dinner wasn't something she enjoyed on her initial visit, but that it 'grew' on her afterwards.
"Whenever I have the chance to get lamb, I can't avoid it," she said of her 'favourite meat', admitting she still finds Yorkies 'strange'.
"My favourite part of an English carvery is the combination of the meat and vegetables. I think it's quite a well-balanced dish.
"The meat for example isn't deep fried, it's just grilled. It's not super unhealthy - whereas something like fish and chips can be quite unhealthy.
"I like the flavour of British food, how you can pour gravy over it, how you can bring in mustards and that kind of thing.
"As for Yorkshire puddings, they're a bit strange for me. They're not bread, they don't have any strong flavour. But they go well with everything - gravy, salt and pepper, and other sauces."
Fukui said she was surprised about British food upon arriving, having expected a lot of deep fried dishes after hearing about fish and chips.
She continued: "People in Japan associate British food with fish and chips, which is deep fried fish and deep fried chips.
"I guess there's this idea that British food is flavourless. For us, fish and chips is just a deep fried fish, there's not really any taste. I think that's why people think British food tastes bland.
"I do miss Japanese food, especially raw fish. Before I came to the UK, I thought, 'Well, it's an island just like Japan, so there'll be loads of seafood'. But it's quite rare, I think, to have different types of fish here.
"When I was in high school, there was a program for people to go to Cambridge University for a month during the summer holidays.
"A few of my friends went, and when they came back, they told me they didn't like British food at all. Perhaps they'd just been eating 'school food'."
Fukui said she feels people in Japan 'underestimate' British food, adding: "People from abroad don't realise how nice British food actually is.
"When I first tried a carvery, I was quite surprised by the massive portions. I had this one plate which was just covered by all this food, it was really big.
"It's definitely a difference from Japan - portion sizes are much bigger here."
Fukui shared her love for a carvery dinner in a TikTok video, racking up nearly 250,000 views.
And it seemed many other people agreed, with one commenting: "People saying British food is bad obviously never cooked or ate at a nice restaurant and paid for good food."
Another joked: "We tell people it's rubbish so there's more for us."
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