The following is an excerpt from a conversation with my language partner. For some context, I told her about our familydinner at a restaurant during christmas eve. I wanted to tell her that you could have your meal freshly cooked right before your eyes there, but unfortunately I used some wrong vocabulary and she explained to me what I actually said :D

I'll post what I had written first: 彼女の家族は、クリスマスイブでレストランへ行く伝統があります。ですから、去年私の家族と彼女の家族とクリスマスイブで「グル‌​メ-テンプル」というレストランへ行きまし‌​た。このレストランはビュッフェと料理番組‌​で作られた料理を供して、料理のすごい種々‌​がありました

Then here is the full block which she wrote back concerning my misleading wordchoice: 「料理番組で作られた料理」というのは、テレビの料理番組で作っていた料理を再現したという意味でしょうか。 ビュッフェ形式のホテルやレストランで私が思いつくのは、「実演料理(じつえんりょうり)」です。作って並べられている料理とは別に、その場でシェフが作ってくれる料理です。日本の場合では、その場で寿司を握ってくれたり、天ぷらを揚げてくれたりします。お客さんは作っている様子を見ることができ、作りたてを食べることができます。

Now, the sentence in question: ビュッフェ形式のホテルやレストランで私が思いつくのは、「実演料理(じつえんりょうり)」です。

My attempt at translation: "Concerning what I recall out of the buffet-system hotels and restaurants, it is 実演料理."

I interpreted で as the short form of の中で here. I'm not sure wether the way I put ビュッフェ形式のホテルやレストランで into relation with 思いつくのは is legit or not. With の being a nominalizer, 思いつくのは becomes "concerning that which I recall". This "that which I recall" is further detailed by ビュッフェ形式のホテルやレストランで, that's at least how I understood it.


(literally) It's 実演料理 that I think of with 'buffer-style restaurants and hotels'.
(interpretation) The phrase 'buffer-style restaurants and hotels' reminded me of the phrase 実演料理.

I think this particle で can be understood as a method/means marker. In this sentence, she is saying she recalled the word 実演販売 with the phrase "ビュッフェ形式のホテルやレストラン" as a hint/trigger. ホテルやレストランの中で思いつく usually means "to come up with something when one is at a restaurant or a hotel", which makes little sense in this context.

Here's something worth memorizing as a set expression:

Ah, that reminds me!

Your translation is not entirely wrong, but in case you didn't, remember that this is a rather simple cleft sentence. Let's get used to this pattern before resorting to word-by-word analysis.

  • Okay, so in this context, の中で wouldn't be understood in the way it is usually understood, like in 東京の祭りの中で、この祭りは一番好きでしょう。? Or does の中で first and foremost trigger the understanding you just mentioned, which in turn usually is interpreted in the way I outlined above with my small example, but in context of the sentence in question, trying to use の中で in this function is prone to misinterpration? I indeed was kind of triggered by のは to interprete this as a cleft sentence :D However, I'm always a bit clueless how to handle them, especially since these constructions are very rare in my own lang^^
    – Narktor
    Jan 3 '18 at 14:17
  • 1
    Phrases like "A, B, Cの中で選ぶ" or "A, B, Cの中で一番好き" make perfect sense, but "A, B, Cの中で思いつく" makes little sense to me, if not entirely wrong.
    – naruto
    Jan 3 '18 at 15:02

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