When I asked YJ to pick a Japanese restaurant for our girly dinner (the one you missed because of your work trip), I was expecting to eat sushi and sashimi, or perhaps some ramen or udon. Maybe even barbequed chicken skewers or a few izakaya dishes washed down by sake. Lobster and abalone? By the former private chef for famed couturier Kenzo? Pfft… so improbable it was a pipe dream. I swear to you, my darling, that I did not deliberately forsake you for YJ’s company and Toyo’s divine Japanese-French food, so please don’t be angry at me any more.
My thoughts were constantly on you when I was agonizing over the 5 course menu (79E) and the 2 course menu (69E). See how I prudently selected the one with fewer portions so that I could keep to my new year diet? And if you read the menu closely, there were only lobsters, abalones (ormeaux) and truffles on the menu. You see, I simply had no choice but to eat lobsters and abalones!
Yes, yes, I know that regardless of the menu I chose, it was still an expensive meal. Cannot argue with that, and I promise to be thriftier next time I eat out without you, but did you see the amount of truffles on JY’s tartare de veau?
Before my 2 dishes, the chef (working right in front of me on the other side of the long, blond-wood counter) sent us an amuse-bouche of fried mussels and crispy bean-curd sheets. But don’t worry, the immensely snackable bites must have been nothing compared to what you were eating on the ship in the Mediterranean.
For my entrée, I ate an abalone that had been lightly seared on the kitchen’s grill before being transferred into the surprisingly complex broth, an ethereal one where the flavors change in an instant between herbal shiso, citrusy yuzu, sharp sansho pepper and musky truffle. I’m sorry you missed it, though I’m sure the seafood you were eating out at sea must have been just as fresh! But you didn’t have abalone? Oh, but remember how you didn’t enjoy those canned abalones during Chinese New Years past? This one tastes quite different from its canned brethren, firm and chewy with a smoky start and a sweet aftertaste, but you know, an abalone’s an abalone and you might still be disappointed.
I ate the sweet, juicy grilled lobster perched in a pool of amber hued Japanese curry. I know, it’s such a travesty to have Japanese curry without a big slab of deep-fried pork! How it must have offended your sensibilities to see that dainty mound of rice, totally inadequate for soaking up the buttery, mildly spicy sauce in entirety, and how the potatoes were substituted by sweet candied radishes and deep fried winter greens. That was simply too healthy!
I was having such a good time chatting with YJ about our travels and her dance class that we invariably lingered a while longer over dessert. My sorbets were fine but unmemorable, though YJ’s green tea tiramisu looked quite appealing. Dear husband, if you are keen, maybe we can return, if not for dinner then the 35E-45E lunch, so I can try the tiramisu *pretty please*?
your devoted wife
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