Owners Peter and Mieko met in Tokyo in 1991. Peter was working as a sound engineer based at the Japanese office of Solid State Logic (SSL), that has its headquarters in Begbroke, just north of Oxford. Mieko was a professional singer and an excellent cook ! Their shared interests in music and food brought them together and so it remains over twenty years on.
Whilst in Japan Peter became hooked on Japanese food. There is an abundance of quality restaurants in Japan competing for business from knowlegable and discerning customers, and they offer many kinds of excellent food at very modest prices. Most restaurants specialise in a certain style of Japanese food (eg. tempura, sushi, noodles, tonkatsu, yakitori, okonomiyaki, unagi, yakiniku, sukiyaki, nabemono etc), and generally speaking they all do it to their very best ability, serving delicious food in a cheerful atmosphere that is relaxed and welcoming.
After returning together to England in 1997 Peter and Mieko made the decision to open a small Japanese eatery themselves, to share with others their enthusiasm for the wonderful variety and tastes of Japanese food. They searched for an "off the beaten track" location, and in March 1998 they found an eat-in sandwich shop (the current premises on Holywell Street) that was up for sale. Negotiations with the sandwich shop owner and the landlord (Merton College) were completed in June 1998, and a comprehensive refit of both the kitchen and restaurant areas followed.
Edamame opened in November 1998, serving its own style of home cooked food to a cosmopolitan mix of students and other Oxford residents.