April 14, 2021

The hidden sushiya I never knew

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Last month I made two bookings at Godenya (ごでんや) in quick succession, once Goshima-san confirmed to me the approximate dates for the very short season for sansho flowers (花山椒).  This is why, 3 weeks after my last visit, I'm back in the private room with a few friends.

Sakura masu, hotaru-ika, warabi, kinome (桜鱒 蛍烏賊 わらび 木の芽) - I was so, soooo happy to have been served this. A variation of a dish I had last year, this showcases some of my favorite seasonal ingredients. What hasn't changed from last year was the presentation, which was pretty with lots of green from sansho leaves and sansho flowers. We've also got eagle fern (わらび) on top.

Underneath the green canopy we have some of my favorite firefly squid from Toyama Prefecture (富山県), cherry salmon from Aomori Prefecture (青森県), and some miso made with mashed sansho leaves. The squid was full of umami but also tasted pretty strong, and Hairy Legs didn't quite appreciate that. The fern was pretty crunchy.

April 13, 2021

Cheating with comfort food

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Hong Kong is a pretty tough market in terms of F and B, what with painfully high rents and fickle customers who seem to always be looking out for the next new thing. That's why it's amazing that Kichi (吉 田舎料理) is still around after some 27 years in this town. I remember first visiting this place at their old location more than 20 years ago, and the simple, comfort food has always been delicious. I have returned intermittently over the years, although it has been some time since my last visit. I used to come with a group of friends from my high school in Tokyo, and tonight this served as the venue of our gathering once again.

It's been over a year since my last trip to Japan, and incidentally that was a visit to Fukuoka - where Mama Yamaguchi-san hails from.  There would be a couple of dishes tonight that reminded me of my trip.

Otsumami (おつまみ)

Calcium senbei (カルせんべい) - I always order this when I'm here.  These deep-fried wafers made of tiny little fish fry are just so, soooo delicious that I'd actually love to have an order all by myself.  But that wasn't such a good idea tonight... despite this being a cheat meal from my current diet.

April 9, 2021

Friday night party crasher

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Tonight wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

Sankala took her second Covid vaccine today. We had planned on her developing some reaction to the vaccine, and we were meant to have a quiet evening at home.  Which was why I had initially turned down an invitation to join my VIP friend for dinner at Ren Ren Heping Restaurant (人人和平小飯店). But Sankala seemed to be doing fine most of the day, and she suggested that we go and join our friends for dinner. So that's how we wound up at the feast...

Award-winning honey char siu (本地蜂蜜叉燒) - pretty decent.

Poached foie gras with goose sauce (鵝汁浸鵝肝) - I guess it makes sense that they would serve up goose liver, given the number of geese they run through each day.  This wasn't the fine dining version, but tasty nonetheless.

April 8, 2021

A night of surprises

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The MNSC boys are trying to get back to a more regular schedule for our gatherings, and The Ox very kindly hosted us after flying back into town for the Easter holidays.  The last time I had a proper meal at The Porn Pawn was a few years ago, so it would be interesting to see what the kitchen is delivering these days.

Burrata, arugula, cherry tomatoes, aged vinegar - this was OK.

Beef carpaccio: Japanese wagyu, truffle - very, very thin. Very well-marbled, and definitely not kosher for my current diet. Pretty tasty, though.

Shrinking Boy 2.0: 1 month in

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So... it's been a month since I re-started my nutritional diet program, and other than my cheat meals - of which there have been quite a few - I've been pretty good.  So let's look at what I've accomplished so far:

Weight loss to date: 2.6kg

Not too bad, considering this time around I did ZERO exercise, whereas I was doing weight training once a week and jogging a couple of times a week during the first stint.

Cheat meals: 11

As with the first stint, I allowed myself generally 2-3 cheat meals per week where I ate and drank whatever and however much I wanted.  This keeps me sane and motivated.

So what have I been eating?

Just like in 2013, I have been eating a good amount of canned tuna in spring water with wheat toast.  I bought a ton of canned tuna as soon as I decided to embark on the program.  I also bought a supply of low-fat cheese singles.

I also have started eating cheap sushi again, with a couple of visits to Sen-ryo (千両) during the past month, and back to getting some supermarket sushi, too.  It makes things easy for me when it comes to portion control - the key for this program to succeed.

This time, though, I'm not exactly doing this alone.  Sankala eats a number of the meals with me, and I'm no longer free to do whatever I want - as my decision can have an impact on her.  The wonderful thing about her is that she's been trying very hard to come up with simple meals which fit my requirements, but at the same time can be jazzed up enough so that she would want to eat.  I'm grateful to have her around this time.

Let's see how much weight I can shed in my second month!

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