On the first day of our annual business meeting in Osaka, our colleagues treated everyone to a welcome dinner. I was crossing my fingers that dinner would be a good Japanese meal but ....
As in previous years, we ended up being taken to a western restaurant.
Don't get me wrong, I am not as ungrateful as I seem to be.
The restaurant was very nice, the pasta was good but when in Osaka, where they say "kuidaore" or "eat till you drop" (Osakans are my kind of people!), I certainly was not planning to feast on Italian food.
But there it was -- a fun evening with warm hearted and hospitable colleagues albeit with pasta, prosciutto and tiramisu.
Since I did not liberally partake of the dinner (save for the excellent beer), I found myself feeling hungry towards midnight.
Fortunately, there was a small sushi place right across the hotel -- which basically does a lot of take out business but has counter seating for a few diners.
So, the hungry pig crossed the road! Why? To get to Kasuga Sushi Bar!
The chef was busy with the take out orders so I took my time reading the menu. At Kasuga, the sushi is sold by the piece so you can choose exactly what you want to eat.
Would I "kuidaore"? I ordered anago or salt water eel - lightly seared by the chef before he wrapped it around the sushi rice. I also had my favourites -- uni and shime saba sushi.
Of course, the uni and shime saba were so good that I had to order a few more.
A tall cold glass of beer gave me the courage to speak Japanese with the chef as I ate and as he continued to prepare more sushi.
It was a most convivial evening with a lot of hearty laughter and checking with a pocket translator.
I think we understood each other pretty well!
Food and drink are part of the universal language that everyone understands.