// category

Archive for December, 2008

Oh kids.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas or festive season this year. As I posted, I had a quite eventful week in fact. I can’t believe we only have one more day till the new year! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!

On the busy christmas day, I had a phone call in the morning – which started with crazy scream. It was from Sho – my best friend’s son. Apparently he received and opened his christmas present from me! His mother had him call me to say “thank you” before he gets to play with it. But I could tell from his voice that his attention was paid all to the present. I got him the latest Nintendo DSi. Yeah I understand, I couldn’t be bothered to call anyone if I got a christmas present like that at his age. ;p

His father has passed away three years ago due to heart attack. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it has been for my friend to cope with it and raise her child alone. Other friends and I are committed to support her and her kid – just like she has been our dearest friend who supports us in any way.

During the conversation with Sho, he told me that I’m the best (of course!) and his mum is lucky to be my friend. (uh-huh you bet she is.)

And then, I certainly heard that sound. That echoing sound effect that Nintendo DS makes when it starts up. And I knew our conversation had just FINISHED.

sho

Here we have a new formula.

Gaming device > Yas

It must be the tiny things kids say. They’d say things so purely and simply. I could tell from her voice that what he had just said (before abandoning me for DS!) made her cry. “Ahhhh I’m so happy that I’m your child!!”

I don’t practice any specific religious teachings as I’m agnostic, but please God, let us lead to a better year for all children in the world and keep them away from unnecessary hardships, starvations, pains, terror, and sufferings.

Merry Christmas to me.

It was only a week ago when Mayu and I were on the phone saying that we should reward ourselves for non-stop working workload with something nice to end the hectic year with. I’d like to think I deserve it. We jokingly suggested a dinner at Tetsuya’s – knowing that there must be no way to book a table at this last minute.

And the reservation got confirmed with her and her husband’s direct connection to Tetsuya.

On the Christmas eve, happily married Mr. & Mrs. Tama and dateless old moi – three of us had a Christmas dinner at Tetsuya’s – which was filled with excellent and perfect food to drawn ourselves in a pool of indulgence. Oh yeah, Chrismas was just another excuse to dine out. It’s been nearly two years past (!) since the last time I had visited the restaurant. Long overdue that is!

mitsu_mayu

yas

After being welcomed by Maitre d’ and bunch of staffs, we briefly met Tetsuya himself in the hallway – and we totally appreciated his generous complimentary – Champaign and wines. (of course, not to mention that was for Mayu and Mitsu and I was a freeloader though. ;p )
food_1
food_2
food_3

We all had each dish. Quite alot eh? In fact, it was about to strike midnight when we have finished. 5 hours had past just enjoying food and wines along with our conversation. I thought this was a perfect Christmas gift for myself this year for all the effort for the hard work I have performed. “The best Santa for me was myself this year.” – I thought.

But I was wrong apparently. Santa didn’t forget us, and gave us a big surprise at the end of the dinner. (we were literally astound!) I’ll just leave the details unsaid.

Tetsuya’s
529 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000

http://www.tetsuyas.com/

I wish you all have great festive seasons!

Hmmm Bacon!

lol
Haaaaaaaaa, I almost wet my pants. I said ALMOST, thank you.

Baconize your website!!
http://bacolicio.us/http://blog.hungrydigitalelf.com/
(http://bacolicio.us/ + URL.)

Guests guests guests.

Ughh. I was really on the thin line between sane and mad crazy with guests arriving in Sydney in the past 5 weeks. I’ve got to admit that it was the food that kept me sane. Seriously.

I didn’t get to take pictures of all dinning out occasions, but I literally eat through the 5 weeks – sometimes all 3 meals. Azuma Regent, Ocean Room, Busshari (twice), Japaz, Bécasse, Rengaya, Madang, Flying fish, etc etc…

You know you have a serious food issue when you have spent more money on food than your rent.
dinner_azumaregent
dinner_oceanroom

Oh oh oh! My friend brought me this from Japan and I’m totally in love with it.
Lotte Rich Fruit Chocolate – Strawberry.
VERY intense strawberry flavor! (In fact, 70% strawberries.)

rich_fruit_chocolate

Now. I’m going to finish up work for the year soon, and get ready for Christmas dinner @ Tetsuya’s and Toshikoshi night. I’ll think about dieting next year…

Interesting findings.

White Strawberries!

strawberries

After spending more than a decade, a nursery company in Yamanashi Japan produced a new variety of strawberry that never turn red.

I’ve just started reading,

200px-engulfedsedaris
David Sedaris’ new book, “When You Are Engulfed In Flames”
Because I like his books.


YouTube – David Sedaris on Letterman’s show.

Wanna come taste me?

Best tasting human flesh

I knew it. I’m a free-range tender meat with layers of rich fat – best served with soy sauce.

Born to be efficient.

gift1

Christmas season has arrived and I’m sure everyone is getting ready for the festive events to come. Christmas dinner to prepare, gifts to buy, parties to attend etc.

When it comes down to gifts, I usually try to give what others want. Nintendo DS for kids, iPod for teens, stupid toys that 5 years old looses interest in like 3 days, whatever. My friends and I usually chip in to get something solid rather than giving multiple cheaper gifts individually – and it usually works well. Would you prefer to receive CDs/DVDs/books than a digital camera?

Around this time of the season, a group of my old relatives ALWAYS bring up this episode from my childhood. I haven’t celebrated with them ever since I had left Japan, but I’m sure they are still talking about it.

I was around 6-7 years old, getting excited for the Christmas, decorating our Christmas tree, enjoying Christmas themed kid’s TV programs – you get the idea.

Then, my mom asked me what I was going to ask Santa for a Christmas gift. And after a long “hmmmmmm weeeeeeell”, I apparently told her that I wanted his Credit Card.

Yup, Santa’s credit card. Bank of North Poll VIsa or Master, whatever.

“c… credit card? Santa’s credit card?” she asked. (with her disturbed face only reserved for something fearful or the time I told her that I wanted to grow up to be a circus clown.)

I simply thought of Santa’s convenience. I couldn’t decide what I really wanted for Christmas. I wanted to borrow his credit card so I can decide later and go purchase the gift by myself. You know, I didn’t want to bother him with my late request. How thoughtful kid I was.

“I didn’t know if you were a thoughtful kid or just too wise to be a kid,” my mom goes,
and finishes her sentence with “but now I see where that led to.”

She’s so getting another ugly sweater this year, if she brought up the story again.

Toshikoshi Dinner here we come.

OH MY GOD. I simply cannot believe it’s almost the end of the year. How time flies. And yes, I noticed it files even faster as I get older. What’s up with that?

Toshikoshi (年越し) is a Japanese word that means “Seeing the old year out” (literally translated to “passing by / crossing over between the old and new year.”) Traditionally, we prepare a Toshikoshi dinner and practically eat through from the night of new year’s eve and the first day of the year. I guess we just use the new year occasion as an excuse to eat – instead of having Christmas or thanksgiving dinner. How can you not like about that. I haven’t had any proper Toshikoshi dinner in the past 15 years ever since I had left Japan, so I decided to do a traditional and authentic Toshikoshi dinner this year. All the way Yo.

BUT.
I realized, in fact, I don’t quite remember what was to be Toshikoshi dinner. How did I even forget that…

So here’s the ordinary category of food for Toshikoshi.

1) Osechi
2) Toshikoshi Soba (Buckwheat noodles)
3) Zouni (soy based soup) or Oshiruko (Sweet red bean soup) with Mochi (Rice cake)

Osechi is the most traditional MUST-HAVE thing for Toshikoshi. It is basically a layered bento box filled with all kinds of food that has something to do with “wishing a better luck in the coming new year.”

Usually Osechi is prepared prior to the new year, so women of the house can relax and enjoy the new year altogether with family and relatives. But, we often order it from restaurants and catering companies – just to save some time. It’s worth checking out what kind of Osechi these famous restaurants, Ryotei and hotels are offering each year. (like Hilton, Hyatt, Four seasons etc.)

Osechi is traditionally 3 or 5 layered – In Japanese, the pronunciation of counting 4 sounds “Shi” which is the same pronunciation for death. Therefore 4th is often omitted from anything to do with celebratory occasions. Jinx! So for the 5 layers, it goes, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Yo-th, 5th. (Yon/Yo is an alternative counting pronunciation for 4.)

There’re so many different kinds of food to go in the box (Ju-bako), but I nailed down to these items to cook for this year’s celebration to share with my friends. They’re doing the other foods too.

I’ll report how it turned out after the new year ;)

By the way, if you are interested, Galileo (Observatory Hotel) and Mino are taking orders for Osechi Box for the new year.

Google Earth now runs in browsers!

How cool is that!

Youtube: Google Earth Plugin

http://code.google.com/apis/earth/

Leap Second – 23:59:60

Every 4 year, we all know we have a leap year. Did you know there’s such a thing as “leap second”?

Unlike leap years, the leap second is hard to predict in advance due to both astronomical and physical reasons which cause the Earth to revolve with lag. Not only I was surprised to know there’s such a thing but apparently we’d be able to figure out if we need to adjust the time only 6 months prior to that to happen.

So this year, we’ll have extra 1 second, and this means we’ll have “December 31, 2008 23:59:60″ before striking January 1, 00:00:00. How weird is that?!

Read more details on “Leap second”