Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Matsutake soup and toro sashimi for lunch, and all about two Russian girls who speak flawless Tagalog.

I met these two young ladies 
at the home of the Russian Ambassador tonight.
They're visiting students at the UP Diliman from Moscow State University,
and they spoke flawless, classical Tagalog. More below...

Today I had lunch with the Travel Companion, and we went to a Japanese restaurant in Makati that's considered the best Japanese restaurant in Manila, but that few people know of.

The few people who do know about it do so basically by word of mouth. When it first opened some years back, it was like a hot racing tip passed around from foodie to foodie.


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It used to be a very expensive restaurant, until the Japanese owner changed his strategy about a year ago. He then took out the sushi chef and brought prices down a bit.

The atmosphere has changed completely, and, frankly, I miss how it was before.

This has been the Travel Companion's favorite restaurant since it first opened.

Scroll down to read more...



IT'S A SMALL WORLD

When we walked in earlier, the place was empty except for the owner at a far corner, and I thought it was going to stay that way.

But within 15 minutes, two other tables filled up in this rather small restaurant, and we happened to know both tables very well.

That's how small Manila can be.

Anyway, this Japanese restaurant just received a fresh shipment of toro and uni, so the Travel Companion ordered this for us.



MY ONLY MATSUTAKE THIS YEAR

Then the owner sent some Japanese soup laced with matsutake (called dobin mushi) our way as well.

Dobin mushi is an autumn specialty in Japan, and I had not had it at all this year since I've not been in Japan for months, and it's impossible to get good matsutake overseas except in restaurants like this.

So I said: "This is my first and only matsutake for this year."



Matsutake is not served at any other time but from late September to the end of November.

So we were basically catching the tail-end, at this point.

GOOD JAPANESE FOOD

The toro from Japan was very good as well, and, fortunately, the Travel Companion let me have most of it.

The last time we'd had raw fish together, we'd been having lunch at the coolest new place in Dar es Salaam, right by the marina, at the end of October.

He ordered a lobster and then he let me choose the raw fish part. I asked for all those versions of California sushi that you can never get in Tokyo.



But back to lunch in Manila.

After the toro sashimi and a couple of other delicious things, we had an excellent salmon belly with rice, and I had a green tea ice cream to end, before I went back to work for the rest of the afternoon.

A PARTY AT THE HOME OF THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR

In the evening, I went over to the home of the Japanese ambassador for a party -- so yes, it was two authentic Japanese meals for me today.

The traffic in Makati was just terrible so I was quite late.

But still in time to have some very nice, enlightening conversations about the state of our tourism and our energy infrastructure.



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A PARTY AT THE HOME OF THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR

I was double-booked this evening, but fortunately the next party was just a few streets away, at the home of the Russian ambassador.

I arrived very late, but I assumed that there would still be guests sitting around, relaxing late into the night in a very Russian way.

I was right.

I met these two young ladies 
at the home of the Russian Ambassador tonight.
They're visiting students at the UP Diliman 

from Moscow State University,
and they spoke flawless, classical Tagalog.

And the surprise of the evening was meeting two lovely girls who actually studied Tagalog and Philippine history at Moscow State University for three years. They are now visiting students at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

They spoke flawless, classical Tagalog that was certainly way better than mine.

I said to them: "I'll bet you know more about Philippine history than most Filipinos do."

They smiled and agreed with me, rather bashfully and very charmingly.

And with this, I ended another nice evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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May 16 - 26, 2014

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1 comment:

  1. Ummmm.... What is the name of the restaurant?

    ReplyDelete