In preparation for the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction next month, the Hotel Metropolitan Sendai has acquired halal food certification for two of its restaurants. It is expected that the conference will bring an influx of overseas visitors to Sendai, and the hotel is answering a call to improve services for Muslim customers by providing halal food. Halal food is food that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic law.
To earn certification, the restaurants had to ensure that there were no alcohol or pork based ingredients in the food. They also needed to arrange separate cooking ware and refrigerators. In December, they were able to obtain local halal certification, which is based on Malaysian halal standards.
Muslim students from Tohoku University were invited to a tasting session this month to sample the cuisine. A graduate student from Turkey commented that while he usually buys halal ingredients and cooks for himself, its nice to have increased options to eat out.
Currently students at Tohoku University can eat halal food at cafeterias on Aobayama and Kawauchi campuses. The halal labelling system is monitored with the help of the Tohoku University Muslim Cultural Association.
Restaurants 'Serenity' and 'Hayase' will offer two course meals at lunch and dinner. While the establishments look forward to serving international diners, they say that reservations need to be booked two days in advance.