Spending the Day with Anna & Michel in LA

13 07 2017

During my recent brief visit to Los Angeles, I had made a point to see a friend or more a work associate who became a very good friend.  I had enough time on the Saturday I was there when Anna and her husband Michel made time for me to go out for lunch followed by an unplanned shopping expedition and a visit to their lovely home.





Picking Up Maltese Sweets in Rabat

15 06 2017

In all the guide books/websites on Malta I saw, there was a reference to this lovely confectionery situated in the main square of the city of Rabat, highly recommended for homemade Maltese sweets.

He let me sample the (mostly almond I think) brittle he is holding which was really good. I got a bar for my cousin.

Also bought two loaves of fruit cake for my friend and myself as well as the small Maltese cannoli I had on the spot. He thanked me in Japanese and gave me two pieces of Maltese nougat as “omake” (something extra or free gift in Japanese).

The mini chocolate cannoli.

Across from the shop in the square is St. Paul’s Church.

A nice facade.

And then I went back inside the Mdina wall to visit this wine place before taking the bus to my next destination.  It would have been strategically better to do the wine first and the sweets later but the confectionery was closing at 5 pm so had to hurry there.





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.

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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.








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