Dinner for 60+ can be difficult. The organizers did a great job setting up a private room in an izakaya with a set menu - except of course, not being a meat eater or alcohol drinker I begged off and was allowed to order a la carte which worked out really well as there were many yummy options on the menu that weren't part of the group dinner courses, and two hours of unlimited drinking would definitely be wasted on me!
We spent Wednesday in Kyoto and had a kaiseki meal, as one is supposed to there. We picked a nice place on 11th floor of Isetan Department Store just north of Kyoto JR station called Shozankaku.
We were not disappointed.
We had to sign in when we arrived (there was a wait of about 45 minutes). That's Ben's name on the right on the line third from the bottom - he wrote that himself!
Ben got sake. We had simple place settings and some bowls with roasted rice kernels. Tea or finger bowls? :)
Ben got the full "Kaiseki" meal, but because it had steak, I got the option with same number of courses but "no meat" according to the server. I was impressed enough that Ben said in Japanese that I don't eat meat!
After wandering around sake breweries all morning we were getting quite hungry but couldn't find much in Nada around the brewery area, so we hopped on a train to Kobe hoping to find something yummy.
Either we got lucky with our pick or all food in Japan is always good! :)
Since I'm platinum with Starwood, we got free breakfast either at the lounge on 19th floor (just across from our room) or at the buffet restaurant on the first floor. We opted for the restaurant on our first morning and I really enjoyed being able to use the typical multi-compartment Japanese plates to sample lots of options.
You can't tell in the picture but the mini-pancakes in the middle of the plate are green-tea flavored. Yum!
On our relatively short ICN-NRT flight (under two hours) we were served a wonderful lunch.
It was a multi-course affair with choices from Western or Korean menus.
Both of us had the same dessert - a wonderful fruit plate - the mango was one of the best I had ever tasted!
All in all, the food was great and the service was impeccable!
The trip report is over in the "Travel" section of this blog, but here are all the food pictures from the trip, starting with the highly anticipated Singapore Airlines first class trip from San Francisco to Seoul, South Korea.
First was "lunch" which was really more like a dinner. We had caviar, I skipped the soup which Ben had, we both had salad, then I had fish while he had the lobster.
Tonight I had dinner at Chez TJ in Mountain View with Ben and Susan. One strange part of the evening was at the start when I inquired about substituting for two meat courses in the tasting menu (since I don't eat meat). The waiter seemed surprised. In the Bay Area. I said: "I'm sure this has happened before". He sputtered something about that people usually let them know in advance. They actually didn't have any problem finding ingredients to do the substitutions (rather well), but for some reason the exchange was very funny at the time.
Tonight I met up with Mark and Wendy who recently moved from Seattle to UK (what?) and since it was convenient for us to meet up at Kings Cross station we picked a place nearby from random reviews. It was AWE-SOME! It was this Spanish place - even though the website media shows lots and lots of large animals on plates we had lots and lots of little plates of mostly veggie tapas. Delicious! The place *is* quite hard to find - we might have done better had we actually captured this very handy map they have on their website! :) But we did find it, and it was definitely worth it - highly recommended to anyone who wants a lovely meal near Kings Cross!