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Matthew Crabbe: ‘Try not to pick up any vices on the way to maturity’

by Elliott Samuels

Staff Writer

Name: Matthew Crabbe
Age: 43
Nationality: Australian
Occupation: Chef and co-owner of Two Rooms, R2 and Ruby Jack’s
Likes: Avocado, Barossa shiraz, my family
Dislikes: Slavery, hangovers , confrontations


1. What first brought you to Japan? A job offer at Park Hyatt Tokyo at The New York Grill.

2. What’s keeping you here? My company co-owned with Nathan Smith and Eddie Baffoe.

3. Who in Japan do you most admire? My wife. She puts up with me.

4. Where do you go to escape Tokyo? Kyoto. I lived there for 3½ years. It is so peaceful.

5. What’s your favorite Japanese word or phrase? Tatakai gokko (play fighting). My son asks me to play fight all the time and it makes me happy.

6. What’s your favorite phrase in any language? Hair of the dog. It tells a good story.

7. What’s the most exciting/outrageous thing you have ever done? Accept a job in Yucatan, Mexico, without knowing a word of Spanish.

8. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work? Well-done steak tartare.

9. If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you be? Ikura ponzu (a salmon roe citrus-based sauce).

10. If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone from history, who would it be? Jesus Christ. He seems like a nice bloke.

11. What song best describes your work ethic? “Working-class Man” by Jimmy Barnes. It’s where I’m from.

12. What superhero would you most like to be? Superman. Only kryptonite can bring him down.

13. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Matt Crabbe, a decent kind of bloke.

14. How would you find a needle in a haystack? Metal detector.

15. Tell us a quick joke. Hear about the wooden horse? It wooden poo. (As told by my grandmother Ruby)

16. How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator? How big is the refrigerator?

17. Name three uses of a stapler without staples. Back scratcher, staple remover, musical instrument.

18. Who would win a fight between a lion and tiger? Depends on the age, sex and where they are from, but if they were the same, then the tiger because they seem stronger.

19. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy and rich.

20. Do you have any words of advice for young people? Be patient, take advice, try not to pick up any vices on the way to maturity.