Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Today is my birthday, but as we're flying tomorrow and I wanted to finish packing tonight, we celebrated in intimate style last night. We started in the Na Zdrowie Polish Bar, tucked into a tiny, narrow alleyway behind Holborn tube station. Then we strolled around the corner to Matsuri, where I was treated to a romantic and lavish meal.

The Japanese restaurant was stylish, sleek and contemporary, with high windows, high ceiling, lots of wood and clean lines. We were warmly welcomed -- Irasshaimase! -- and waited on attentively by waitresses in rustic grey and black attire complete with pinafores, headscarves and Bluetooth headsets. Every member of staff bade us goodnight as we left.

The menu had a dizzying array of choices -- most of which we wanted to try -- so we plumped for the Kamakura set dinner of five courses, from which we chose: Appetiser -- soft shell crab and salmon tataki (sashimi-style, lightly roasted salmon); second course -- assorted prawn and vegetable tempura, and assorted sashimi (salmon, tuna and a white fish); main course -- grilled sea bream and a rare fillet steak with various sauces, plus plain white and garlic fried rice and pickles; miso soup; and dessert -- green tea tiramisu and an assorted fresh fruit salad (including strawberries, papaya and pineapple). We also drank Kirin beer, green tea and Sakitini (complete with green olive).

Every item was beautifully presented and melted in the mouth like butter. I have never eaten so well in my life. Thank you, honey.

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