Friday, February 12, 2016

Dinner last night at L'Embellir in Tokyo, business class on Japan Airlines, and about a very special pre-Valentine's Day dinner tomorrow.

With Chef Naoto Kishimoto just last night in Tokyo,
at L'Embellir in Aoyama,
living a #Travelife...

Last night, there I was in Tokyo enjoying a ten-course dinner at L'Embellir, a low-profile Michelin two-star restaurant that I think is completely underrated by foreign foodies, living a #Travelife.

Underrated compared to its similarly ranked counterparts, that is. When I go to Les Creations de Narisawa, another Michelin two-star restaurant nearby, for instance, it's full of foreigners visiting Tokyo.

One of the courses at L'Embellir last night.
Beetroot jelly and a tofu fume with gold paper.

But at L'Embellir, it's also full but the majority of diners are Japanese.

I actually wanted to eat at Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon but it was completely booked out, so we settled for L'Embellir, which is owned and manned by a very nice and hands-on chef named Naoto Kishimoto, and happily so.

One of the three desserts last night at L'Embellir


Then today I was up bright and early to catch the morning flight of Japan Airlines to Manila.

Japan Airlines had great service as always, and the new JAL planes they're using, with flat beds and a 1-2-1 seating configuration in business class offers one of the most comfortable inflight experiences between Tokyo and Manila.

A very comfortable set-up in business class
on Japan Airlines between Manila and Tokyo


Then I landed in Manila, suffering through the madness of Manila traffic while looking at other people's Facebook posts about crime and inconveniences in Manila in the two hours it took me to get from the airport to my office in Makati, which is actually a very short distance of about two kilometers.

If only all lounges could be like this.
Clean, orderly, useful and relatively uncrowded.
The Japan Airlines lounge at Narita Airport.

In contrast, it took me 60 minutes door-to-door by car to navigate the 70 kilometers from my home in Tokyo to Narita Airport. 

Then it was literally seven minutes from the Narita airport driveway to the Japan Airlines lounge, passing check-in, security, and immigrations.

Lunch while watching a Tom Hanks movie today
onboard Japan Airlines


I've never regretted landing in Manila as much as I did this afternoon, smack into the unbearable traffic and the sad news about a widow who was murdered after a botched robbery in a taxi. 

Apparently she worked in the business district of Makati, and she disappeared after getting into a taxi for home. Her body was found not too far away from where she boarded her taxi, another victims of a robbery turned homicide in an ever increasingly dangerous metropolis.

What sad news.

Scroll down to read more about my Valentine's Day dinner in Manila tomorrow...


So I would much prefer to be in Tokyo with its safe streets and orderly traffic as I type this out on my iPhone in the car in crazy Manila traffic.

However, the bright side to returning  to Manila is a pre-Valentine's Day dinner some guys have organized tomorrow, prepared by one of my favorite chefs in this city, especially for us. The ingredients have mostly been flown in from France especially for this dinner.

The real deal Bresse chicken
as part of a very grand pre-Valentine's Day dinner.,
complete with some of the most wonderful wines.

The ingredients for dinner have been flown in specially from France.
Thank you, guys, you know who you are...

This dinner started out because I've been so wanting to eat this chef's specialties as he's not usually making these for the public anymore. So two guys made it happen. Or I should really say one guy made it happen and another guy is taking me to this very special dinner for ten persons, all friends and wine lovers as well.

I go out to dinner practically every night of my #Travelife and this week in Tokyo alone has been one amazing meal after another.

But I'm really looking forward to this customised dinner for a select group of friends tomorrow night in Manila, living a never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife.

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