Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Two Thousand And Thirteen, And My Two Best Meals

2013 certainly went by in a jiffy.  They say the older you  get, the faster a year passes, because as a percentage of your total age, a year decreases.  Ie, if you are a year old, one more year is a 100% increase.  Whereas if you're 48, it's the math.

On Jan 8th, I was armed robbed in the office, at lunch time, by a lone ranger, wielding a meat cleaver, bought from Jusco at RM19.90.  I know, because he left the cleaver plastic wrap on my desk.  A few kicks to the groin, but apart from that, no real harm was done to me, physically, so I was thankful.  He did get my new Samsung S3, and a couple of hundred ringgit.

Then on Feb 8th, I started seeing flashing lights at the corner of my eye, and fortunately I saw the eye doctor immediately, because it was the onset of a detaching retina, which he lasered back that very day.  I wonder if the detached retina was a result of too much eye rolling.

Diving in the Southern Similans was a nice treat in the first quarter of the year.
We had the GE13, the results of which depressed me for an entire day.

Diving with Whale Sharks in Oslob, Philippines, was certainly a highlight for the year....

 Seeing Mount Everest in Nepal was definitely a HIGHlight as well.

We were blessed by abundant food in Kathmandu whilst on our short term church mission trip.  The friendships that were forged were really a blessing, and again, a highlight in 2013.

Then there was that unscheduled trip to Melbourne, for some nuptials.  Apart from the daily bacon and eggs breakfast, we remained steadfastly Asian in our culinary choices this time.  I find as I get older, I am more partial to Asian food. 

Penang with Old friends was a treat, it's always nice to be in the company of people you've know for years and years, and watched the kids grow up together. It was also my first time watching a dragon boat race.

And now, drum roll, this is after all a food blog, not some personal 2nd best meal for 2013.

Rakuichi, a gorgeous mom & pop set up, by a husband and wife, nestled in the ski slopes of Annapuri, Niseko Japan.  Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, the place seats only 12, and the soba is made from scratch by the owner, and lovingly sliced into noodles.  Our omakase menu for the night was simply divine. 

 Part of a trio starter, I can't remember exactly what this was, but it was a fish of some kind. 

This was a herring, brined and very tasty. 

Two slices of fish, if I'm not mistaken, called Kalamusi.  

 A fabulously fresh sashimi platter, of Hokkaido scallops, tuna, and a white fish.  The memory of the freshness and the wonderful taste sensation is vivid in my mind, and makes me yearn for Japan. 

 This mixing bowl is where the master rolls the soba dough.  If bowls could talk, I wonder what tales would this one have. I'm sure we'd be bowled over, by the presence of numerous celebrities. ,

 Oysters so fresh, you can still taste the saltwater of the sea. I've been off oysters for awhile now, as the ones we get here are a far cry from these beauties, but if I could have oysters like these, the world is my oyster then. 

 The lovely wife of the master, exudes such beauty and elegance.  She prepares the flames for the hot pot.

 A pork hot pot, in a broth of bonito tuna and seaweed, which is surprisingly good, despite the basicness of the recipe. 

A vegetable tempura, the batter so light and crisp, and so healthy tasting, despite being deep fried. 

 And finally, the piece de resistance, the hand made soba, in a lovely broth, that is beyond my vocabulary  for superlative adjectives. 

 Dessert, a simple but deliciously sugared chestnut, huge, with a cup of hot green tea. 

 The master signs our copy of the menu.

And that, was my 2nd best meal of 2013.  The presence of friends and loved ones, the whole atmosphere just made this such a wonderful and memorable meal. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, may God bless you all richly, with good health, the company of good friends, and good food. 


Unknown said...

Wow! Larky u! I've nvr been 2 Japan n wud definitely welcome d experience. Maybe we can visit Japan together when my kids r bigger ya beeatch!


You make me so jeoulous with all that lovely and delightful food. Bet they were super awesome tasty B. Not fair to do this CY.
Happy 2014 mate

KY said...

you forgot about kobe beef!

Sean said...

what an inspiring year, really! scrolling through a post with so many smiling faces, i can't help but smile back at my computer screen, heh :D bah, now i feel like having oysters this evening, but ya, will be impossible to find ones like you described here. time to plan an oyster-eating trip this year! =)

Christina Kim said...

Sounds like 2013 did give you a lot to remember by, and sorry to hear about the start of the year though, but thank God you were safe and alright.
Happy New Year 2014 to you and may this year be a fantastic one filled with all awesome returns!:-)