Monday, April 25, 2016

Sukiyaki and home-made ice-cream for dinner in Tokyo. And about a new Maine Lobster Roll stand called Luke's Lobster and a United Arrows pop-up store in Omotesando.



Last night in Tokyo, living a #Travelife, I had friends over for a sukiyaki dinner.

Someone was visiting from Singapore and I thought it would be nice to have him over for dinner at home instead of going out to some fancy restaurant -- especially since all of us are aways eating out anyway.

In Omotesando yesterday, living a #Travelife...

So it was a rather busy day yesterday that began with 15,000 steps around the back neighbourhoods of Harajuku.

These streets around Harajuku are constantly changing with new restaurants and shops, making for a very interesting walk on a perfect spring day like yesterday.

In Omotesando yesterday, living a #Travelife...

WALKING AROUND OMOTESANDO
ON A FINE SPRING DAY IN TOKYO

Two interesting discoveries yesterday were the pop-up clothing store of the Japanese retailer United Arrows, where I picked up two pretty blouses, and a new take-out stand for Maine Lobster Rolls.

I know Maine lobster rolls are good, but I was unprepared for the very long line of hungry young people patiently waiting for their turn to buy a lobster roll at Luke's Lobster, the Tokyo outpost of a Boston joint.

Maine Lobster Rolls in Omotesando

BUYING INGREDIENTS FOR SUKIYAKI

On the way back home, we stopped to buy the things I needed for a good sukiyaki for a table of serious foodies. These included very good Hida beef cut sukiyaki style, tofu and onions from Kyoto, and other vegetables.

And as my housekeeper didn't come in yesterday, I actually did most of the prep work on my own. 

The United Arrows pop-up store in Omotesando

MAKING HONEY & LAVENDER ICE CREAM
FOR DESSERT

And ever so masochistic of me, I decided to make my own ice cream to serve for dessert as well. I could've bought any lovely cake or ice cream for dessert, but I wanted to make my own because I had in my mind the taste of lavender honey for this ice cream -- a flavour not easy to get anywhere in the world.

Of course I didn't have time to make ice cream in advance, between my walking, shopping and eating.

Luke's Lobster in Omotesando


In fact, I was lucky the sukiyaki was even on the table when the doorbell rang that evening as we'd taken our sweet time walking back home.

I'd even bought one of these high-tech Japanese LED vegetable growers to bring to my home in Manila so I can grow my own vegetables, in addition to making my own bread and ice cream. 

All very nice things to do, but these certainly added to an already busy day yesterday.

In Omotesando yesterday, living a #Travelife...

MAKING ICE CREAM AT THE DINNER TABLE.
AND ABOUT THE FRESHLY-BAKED BREAD
OF NARISAWA IN TOKYO

So at the end of dinner, there I was sitting at one end of the table churning out my ice cream with my handheld device while everyone was having the last of the sukiyaki and recalling the various financial crises in the last 25 to 30 years and comparing notes about what they'd done with it.

Chef Narisawa of the famous Narisawa restaurant in Tokyo, considered one of the world's best restaurants, has the bread baked for his guests right at their table so I thought I might make my ice cream at the dinner table too. And all this while I was putting in my two cents' worth about the crises of 1998 and 2008.

I also recalled the sudden drop in the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market, as well as in markets around the world over the summer last year. I remember that I was in Iceland, spending the summer happily living a #Travelife. And when the markets dropped like a stone in water, I simply closed my laptop up for a few weeks and went for long walks by the beach in Iceland.

In Omotesando yesterday, living a #Travelife...

GETTING EVERYONE'S ATTENTION

But back to my homemade ice cream. All the hard work was worth it.

I served the ice cream without any fuss at the end of dinner so that the conversation never even changed pace or topic. But when the guys each took a spoonful of ice cream, they actually stopped their almost incessant talking to look at me in surprise. Then one of them asked: "What kind of ice cream is this? It's really good."

The others asked for seconds.

"Just made it now while I was sitting here turning that contraption around," I replied, pointing to my pretty exhausted manual ice cream maker. And, at that point, I almost added: "..living a #Travelife."

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