Celebrate The Working Class Culinary Traditions Of Germany & Japan This Weekend

Arubaito Ranchi
Arubaito RanchiThe Conservatory

On June 16th, The Conservatory in Bengaluru will be hosting a special lunch titled 'Arubaito Ranchi'.

The event's title, Arubaito Ranchi, is a playful nod to the shared working-class food traditions of Germany and Japan. It literally translates to 'Worker's Lunch' and serves a dual purpose. Firstly, 'Arubaito' is a Japanese word derived from the German 'Arbeit' meaning work or job. This reflects the menu's focus on dishes that were traditionally enjoyed by working-class people in both countries These meals were often simple, hearty, and relied on techniques like smoking, pickling, and broths to maximize flavor while using inexpensive ingredients. Secondly, the lunch itself is designed to be a celebration of these unpretentious but soul-satisfying dishes. It's a chance to appreciate the ingenuity and resourcefulness found in working-class food cultures around the world.

This innovative menu, made by the culinary talents of Dina Webber and Brehadeesh Kumar, celebrates the surprising intersection between these two seemingly disparate cuisines. Both German and Japanese cultures have a deep respect for utilising all parts of an ingredient, evident in their clear broths and smoking techniques. Additionally, neither relies heavily on spices, instead achieving depth of flavor through slow reductions and meticulous layering.

The menu kicks off with a selection of three savory petit fours, acting as a delightful amuse-bouche. Diners can expect a Shokupan Arme Ritter, a German-style bread pudding made with fried, milk-soaked buns and a sweet apple relish. This will be followed by Puffer Chijimi, a Japanese savory pancake, traditionally enjoyed as winter street food. Grated potato forms the base, which is then pan-fried and served with a dollop of sour cream and a touch of umami from anchovies. Rounding out this trio is the Yakionigiri with Speck, a Japanese staple reimagined with German flair. Grilled rice balls are filled with savory pork and caramelised onions, then wrapped in nori seaweed for a satisfying bite.

The main course continues this exploration of commonalities. Diners will be treated to Smoked Salmon Sashimi with Meerrettich, a German white radish paste, alongside a unique potato salad that bridges the two cultures. Pickled asparagus adds a delightful tang to the plate. Next up is the Maultasche and Dashi, a dish that fuses German ingenuity with Japanese essence. Tender pork dumplings are bathed in a fragrant mackerel bone dashi, then finished with a luxurious black garlic oil. Finally, the Aji Fry and Soba Schwarzplentene brings a touch of South German heartiness to the table. Hearty buckwheat dumplings are stuffed with panko-fried horse mackerel, all enveloped in a creamy shiso milk béchamel sauce.

No meal is complete without dessert, and Arubaito Ranchi offers a delightful finale that pays homage to the influence of German baking on Japanese sweets. The Matcha Baumkuchen - a German layered crepe cake infused with matcha green tea and white chocolate - is a star attraction. Black currant gel and yogurt mousse add pops of flavour and texture, making this a truly unforgettable end to this culinary adventure.

Arubaito Ranchi is true collaboration of shared techniques, culinary connections, and the artistry of transforming simple ingredients into something truly special.

You can register for the pop-up here.