Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Big Birthday part 2


Yeah! My birthday night in Tokyo! Martini's at the apartment and then to start the evening we thought we would find Mori's Bar as we had seen this interesting video on YouTube but the info we had was incomplete so we ended up having very nice cocktails at Muduro. The bar was part of the Hyatt in Roppongi Hills. We would come to learn that Hyatt's are THE place for cocktails in Japan.

We had late dinner reservations at Ryugin, which I had read an article in Food and Wine about and the chef Seiji Yamamoto. The restaurant didn't have an English speaking person on shift for the day we were reserved so the woman who had taken my reservation came in just to work with us. Over the top service.

A 12 course meal, complete with champagne, wine pairings and saki was served to us in a very moderately decorated room. It seemed that everything was muted to enhance the beauty of the dishes. One after the other came these gorgeous traditional looking creations but each one had something that made it whimsical, molecular or otherwise unique from what pure tradition would be.

House made bottarga, monkfish liver, shashimi, shark fin, sakura shrimp and seaperch were just some of the fabulous ingredients presented to us.



And then the most interesting dessert I have had- Candy Apple of Minus 196 Degrees Celsius. An actual lady apple filled with powdered ice cream. Break it open and take a bit and it is Apple Pie in your mouth. Beautiful and yummy!

Chef Yamamoto was kind enough to come out a few times to our table, our waitress playing interpreter as he doesn't speak any English. He wanted to know how we heard of him and the restaurant and what we thought of Japan and the food. He also took special time to sign my menu, no easy feet as there is no kanji for Wendy, but he wanted to make it personal and finally got it down.

He even walked us out to our cab and said goodbye. We were the last to leave the restaurant, I think it was 1:30am.

The trains had stopped running so we had no choice but to take a cab home, unfortunately the cabs in Japan are insanely expensive so $100 later we were finally in our apartment. Dayne fell asleep immediately but Forest and I shared One Cups and talked about our fun day!

I loved having my birthday in such an amazing city but also having two totally unique meals! Absolutely memorable. Oh and Forest's bday present to me was to have geisha make overs in Kyoto! Fun!!! (More on that later)



The next day we were a bit worse for wear- jet lag, lack of sleep, lots of drinking. So we slept in and took it easy. We planned on doing a loop of the city by subway and made our way to Shinjuku station. It was loud and big with huge electronic board displays outside.
Our first stop was Harajuku and it was a beautiful, warm sunny day so we got off to explore the area, or stalk Harajuku girls as Forest and Dayne did!

The area was really busy, people everywhere and lots of shop keepers announcing their deals via megaphones on the streets. We wandered around and Dayne and Forest got shots of some Harajuku girls after deploying a surround technique to capture their prey!