Wrapping Up 2011

31 12 2011

January – Cannes, France for the 20th time in 20 consecutive years…

followed by London.  Some things do change I realized!

February – I seem to have gotten back into the CD buying mode then which has continued throughout the year.

March – March 11th earthquake

and cousin visits from Kobe on the very next day.  It took a while for everybody to realize what had happened and how serious things were.

April – cherry blossoms

May – off to Vienna, Austria

and Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

June – managed to do two “eating the world” get-togethers in one month, Poland and Bulgaria.

July – office move and Fuji Rock Festival 2011 and many more musical events

August – way too hot!! & Summer Sonic 2011

September – Tokyo Jazz Festival 2011 and a trip to Budapest, Hungary

October – more Budapest and own birthday which doubled as another “eating the world” get-together at a Cambodian restaurant.

November – new iPhone (no photo) and the annual Beaujolais Nouveau get-together

December – Christmas and Chrsitmas

Happy New Year’s Eve.  Wishing everyone and the world much joy and peace in 2012.

Friday Cooking Time

30 12 2011

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, December 31, until Tuesday, January 3, it will be family obligations time so I will not be cooking this Sunday.  Thus my Sunday routine has been moved forward to Friday this week.

Funghi fritti

The recipe called for porcini mushrooms which I substituted with rather large shiitake mushrooms I had in the fridge.  After the egg was flour and deep frying in olive oil which all turned out OK but the photos didn’t so foregoing that but let me say the herb salt tasted great with the batter fried shiitake.

Melanzane alla rustica

The recipe called for “American” eggplants, the big fat ones, but I used typical Japanese eggplants that were slightly fatter than normal.

The photos look cloudy because of the steam coming out of the dish.

Welcoming the New Year @ Tokyo Midtown

29 12 2011

Tokyo Midtown as a shopping mall is highly elegant and is much more tastefully decorated than its competition Roppongi Hills.

This year’s Tokyo Midtown’s new year decorations:-

Looking up from the basement floor at the big kite with the caligraphic "Welcoming the new year".

Another smaller kite positioned in front of the magical waterfall display.

Two big kites with the word "dragon", 2012 being the "Year of Dragon".

The first kite as seen from a higher floor. The bamboos are a permanent display.


I was reading a two-day old newspaper today and found out that the smaller kite with the red circle with a yellow rim is from Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, where it was hit by the 3-11 tsunami in the most disastrous way wiping everything away.  This kite, symbolizing a sunrise over the Pacific, was created last year and happened to have been stored on higher ground where it was able to survive the tsunami.


Lunching at Toraya at Tokyo Midtown

28 12 2011

Had a meeting to go to @ Tokyo Midtown yesterday which gave me the most perfect opportunity to stop by the Toraya Teahouse where I had been wanting to lunch since it opened.  I even suggested the time of the meeting so that I could stop by Toraya for an hour of relaxation before I went and battled.  It turned out to be a wise thing to do.  I loved my lunch.

My lunch: Inaniwa udon in soup that's poured over the udon and other goodies from the pot in the back right before you eat it at the table. The egg which we call "onsen tamago" (literally hot spring egg from the way we cook it. The egg white is looser than the egg yolk is its characteristic) is also in the same soup but cold.

After the soup's been poured.

I love the contemporary Japanese feel of the shop and at this time of the year, it gets you in the right Japanese new year mood.

The Glaring Eye

27 12 2011

It was Italian in Azabujuban last night.

We consumed loads, I mean loads, of food and wine, including this (poor) fellow.

The lucky plate!

My piece which looks calm enough to eat.

The lighting in the restaurant is charmingly warm but it does make taking photos difficult!

Trattoria Che Pacchia

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