Lunching in Valletta

14 05 2017

I hadn’t researched much as to where to eat in Malta during my recent stay but early in the morning of the day I was to be in Valletta, I wrote to one restaurant asking for a lunch reservation.  Because it was too close to the hour I was visiting, I did not receive a proper confirmation but I went anyway and had no problem getting in though the outside terrace was almost full having been occupied by a big Japanese (!) group.  That’s sometimes not a good sign but the restaurant was very fine.  Good food and service in a nice relaxed atmosphere.  All the wines I had were local.


Rabbit tortellacci.  Rabbit is one of the most popular meats in Maltese cuisine.

Around the restaurant.




24+ Hours in London

15 04 2017

After about half an hour black cab journey from Liverpool Street Station to Paddington, checked into my hotel for a one-night stay.

Lovely color scheme

View from my room

The public terrace used as, if one wishes, a smoking area.

And then I stepped out for a visit to the Selfridges before my dinner appointment.

And then my dinner appointment wrote in to tell me he had lost his voice. Didn’t mind spending time in my hotel room for a change.

Wrapping Up 2016

31 12 2016

My short trip to Penang, Malaysia was over as of December 30th in time for me to be back in Tokyo for the new year celebration, the most important of the holidays and very much a family event in Japan.  The Penang report will continue later but here is a post to wrap up the year 2016 with scenes from my monthly “eating around the world” get-together with a couple of very good friends.  The rule we try to keep is that we go to a place managed by someone from the region (not always possible but we manage for the most part) and we try not to repeat the same region.

Here we go.

January:  Paraguay

February, nao’s birthday month:  Hong Kong

March:  Moldova

April:  Afghanistan

May:  Kenya

June:  Palestine

July:  Spain, the first time to repeat a country though in a good way to celebrate taka’s birthday

August:  Pakistan

September:  Tibet

October:  Basque Country, my birthday month

November:  As with every year, this month is saved for “Beaujolais Nouveau”

December:  Christmas which we save for French or Italian dining every year and try to choose a restaurant where we are not forced to eat a Christmas menu.  Italian it was for 2016 managed by a chef from the south of Italy.

Happy new year’s eve!!


Chinese and Lamb and Wine and Birthday

30 09 2016

This was a surprise birthday party that my colleague and I hosted for two of our ex-colleagues.  I chose the venue and it was a huge hit: a Chinese restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Northeast China featuring lots of lamb in many different ways, plus mostly organic reasonably-priced wines.




And after all that food and drinking, we moved on to another nearby “standing” bar at which we stood outside the shop and had one more bottle of wine.

It was indeed a happy birthday night.


My Fave Underrated French Wine Bar

9 08 2016

Have probably written about this underrated bistro/wine bar before but I had not been there for quite some time.  Last Friday an opportunity to visit came up after being at Billboard Live Tokyo.

Didn’t disappoint.  Just some of what we had.  Beautiful lamb chops.

Chinese with Wines, Part 1

17 02 2016

This was a regular get-together with a couple of friends that took place somewhat out of the way from central Tokyo earlier this month.  We would mostly choose wine region cuisines for our outing but this was a night of great Chinese food accompanied by wines that complemented the food.

Celebrating its 27th year in business, so says the restaurant signage, in a very fast changing city.

Walls lined with labels and other memorabilia.


Sichuan Mon Hwa

Drinking in Tokyo, November, 2015

10 12 2015

Cafes, wine bars, hotel bars, music bars, foreign ambassadors’ official residences, etc., etc.

Killing time (clearly) inbetween work assignments on a Sunday in Shibuya.

A small commemorative gathering of business friends at “Bar Backyard” in the lobby area of Blue Note Tokyo.

After the movies in Shinagawa.


A music bar in Shinjuku after an Italian dinner with friends.

Before the movies in Shinjuku.


With Boston friends at their hotel bar in Akasaka.

Killing time in a Japanese style cafe in Akasaka before rejoining Boston friends while they got ready for dinner.

Back with Boston friends in the hotel Champagne bar for a happy hour toast.


At a cocktail party at the Canadian Ambassador’s official residence for a work assignment.

At a cocktail party at the Brazilian Ambassador’s official residence for another work assignment.  The strongest caipirinha ever.

Killing time inbetween meetings in Aoyama.

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