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Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001

Your future dished up at fortunetelling pub

Staff writer

If this taste for new uranai has left you hungry for more, then izakaya uranai may be just the thing. A virtual Japanese pub found on the Web not only defines your personality type, but also your drinking habits and even your "lucky izakaya dish" -- all on the basis of your selections from an izakaya menu.

Sound dubious? Perhaps. But it looked fun, so I clicked over to kodansha.cplaza.ne.jp/uranai/izakaya There, I found a choice of two izakaya uranai sites: one free, with just basic readings, and another that costs 200 yen and gives a more detailed analysis. Not being greedy, I opted for the basic fortune-telling fare.

No queuing on the stairs here, as a waitress immediately welcomes you with an "irasshaimase." You are then invited to choose one plate from each of two menus appetizingly displayed on the screen.

The first menu offers 20 starters, such as garlic pizza, sausages and agedashi-dofu (fried tofu dipped in dashi soup). The second lists six shime, foods that conclude a meal, such as yaki-onigiri (toasted rice balls), soba and ocha-zuke (rice with hot water and ingredients such as shake or ume).

After I chose Ginza meat croquettes (465 kcal, 380 yen) from the first menu and soba (237 kcal, 280 yen) to finish up, I clicked the fateful uranai button.

Result: I'm a fried chicken! I am informed that we fried-chicken people are laid-back sorts who don't much care about how other people see us. As for drinking, supposedly fried-chicken personality types "like to drink at their own pace . . . and enjoy inviting friends over for original cocktails."

Accuracy issues aside, I guess I should go to a real izakaya to try my lucky dish -- asari no sakamushi (steamed clams flavored with sake). I'll drink to that!

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