Woke up to some very good news. From the government no less! Akemi’s application for permanent residency has been approved, meaning she won’t have to leave Canada when her visitor’s visa expires (on her birthday!) this April. According to the letter I received, the paperwork has been sent to Tokyo for processing – whatever that means. I think we’ll celebrate today by going out for a very nice meal!
Speaking of which – yesterday, we went out for two very nice meals with a whole bunch of Akemi’s friends.
For lunch, we headed over to Le Chat Souriant, what Akemi described as “casual French”.
As it turned out, the first floor IS casual french (bright, open, bistro-style) while the upstairs, where we ate dinner, was actually formal style (the servers in tuxes were a dead giveaway). We were joined by Akemi’s friends Maki and Masa and enjoyed a terrific multi-course meal. They all went for the lighter selection while I opted for the, er, heartier choice…
A magnificent meal. We all left, extremely satisfied.
While we didn’t try the main floor menu, the fact that both kitchens are presided over by the same chef (Chef de Cuisine Koji Watanabe) gives me confidence that, while the dining experience may be more relaxed, the food would be just as wonderful. Highly recommended.
We decided to walk off lunch by hopping on the metro and heading over to Omotesando for a stroll through Harajuku and a visit to Kiddyland.
Alas, I didn’t pick up anything at Kiddyland (although I was tempted by a pair of Neon Genesis Evangelion Shinji chopsticks).
We headed back to the hotel for some R&R, then out again, this time for dinner at Jojoen for top-rated yakiniku with a bunch of Akemi’s friends. It was me and five women. Sadly, it would have been six women but Megumi had to bow out at the last minute…
They left the ordering to me. I tried to strike a balance between familiar fare and daring selections…
We drank sake. I grilled meats. They chatted away in Japanese. Then, following dessert (ice cream), we headed over to Laduree for more desserts (pastries and macarons) and more Japanese conversation. Akemi offered the occasional translation and her friends would sometimes stop and direct a comment or question my way – iiiinnnn slooooow preeeciiise Jaaaapaaaaneeese. Surprisingly, I was able to keep up for the most part and, when I wasn’t keeping up, I was certainly entertained. I mean, come on. I was out with five beautiful women!
The previous day, my friend Moro-san gifted me a box of Laderach Swiss chocolates. Then, last night, Ayaka-san gifted me a box of Debailleul darks! I am spoiled!
Today, we’re doing dim sum at Fook Lam Moon (I visited the one in Hong Kong many years ago) and dinner at Satoyousuke for Akita-style (countryside) cuisine with Akemi’s friends. In between, I think I’ll make the trip to Ueno and check out the strange sights.