May 7, 2011

Looky, but no touchy

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I was only into my first or second course at lunch when I received a call from Tigger, asking me whether I had dinner plans for this evening.  I didn't make plans for dinner, as I didn't know how I would feel after this long lunch, so I didn't hesitate to agree to have dinner with Tigger and family.  After my infuriating experience with their go-to Japanese restaurant a few months ago, I had been meaning to introduce them to a replacement venue.  I couldn't think of a better place to show them than my favorite izakaya Irori (酒処いろり).

Dinner turned out to be a completely different experience than I had originally planned...

I had completely stuffed myself at lunch, and gotten very drunk in the process.  I arrived home with enough time to nap and recover for an hour, before staggering to dinner half-sober.  I started drinking green tea immediately after I sat down...

As the rest of the gang arrived, I started ordering a bunch of dishes for them to try, introducing them to some of my favorites here.  Unfortunately I was still way too full to eat, and only nibbled a few bites during the rest of the evening.  Here's a sampling of Tigger and family had:

Marinated ox tongue - everyone got a little of this as an amuse bouche, and this was one of the few things I didn't pass up.

Sesame sauce tomato salad (胡麻トマト) - used to be one of my favorites, and the sour sesame sauce well-received by the ladies.

Deep-fried sweet potato chips (薩摩芋チップ) - munched on a few of these...

Fried burdock (きんぴらごぼう)

Grilled ox tongue with spring onions (牛タン葱焼き)

Flame broiled beef (牛肉たたき) - it's been a long time since I last ordered this, and this was still pretty good.

Braised pork belly (豚の角煮) - always found it funny that local waitstaff always call this "Dongpo pork (東坡肉)"...

Cooked chicken meat and eggs (鶏親子煮)

Hot plate bean curd steak (豆腐ステーキ)

Aji tataki (鯵たたき) - I asked for this when I first sat down, but was told that the air shipment had been delayed.  Finally towards the end of dinner, we were informed that the fish had arrived...

Turns out I didn't eat much for the entire dinner, and mostly kept drinking green tea.  However, I did sip a glass or two of Dewazakura Daiginjo (出羽桜 大吟醸), since uncle wanted to have a drink.  Once again, this bottle chosen because it was made in Yamagata Prefecture (山形県) from the disaster-affected Tohoku region.

What an interesting evening...  I've never just sat around watching other people eat...

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