Monday, February 14, 2011

Hayukai Barentaindee dei or Happy Valentine’s Day!

I honestly don't know why I have the exclamation point at the end of this post heading. I'm not exactly overjoyed that this day has come, but getting in the spirit and so on and so forth thus the heading post. Anyway, So I left Fukuoka today, sadly, because I loved the hotel there so much (Fukuoka, from what I saw from the cab which was brief, is a lovely city but seriously, the hotel I stayed at was so glam and beautiful and the staff were so amazing. There was a wedding party happening when I got there and I could not take my eyes off of how stunning all the guests were so I watched them and ok I'll stop blabbing - sad reason to leave a place because of a hotel haha oh well I have to laugh but I digress).
So on the day of departure I went to the train station and picked this up:

(my Japan Rail Pass - a godsend this pass, it really makes travelling in Japan so much easier - not that it's difficult or anything. I mean everything is either in Japanese or English so you're good to go - well, that is if you speak English or Japanese or maybe both). I got on the train and three hours later I'm in Kyoto for Valentine's Day. Hooray for Kyoto - big boo for stupid Valentines Day. This will be my third year spending it (voluntarily) alone but this time with a twist - alone but in Japan which makes it much more tolerable! I went out to dinner (thankfully no McDonalds this time although I was tempted) for a proper meal in the Kyoto French restaurant Bron Ronnery. I was thinking while there that maybe the Japanese don't give a crap about this stupid day as much as North Americans do because the restaurant was practically empty. Good for me because I had an awesome dinner.

Pics of the restaurant – told ya it was quiet.Oh and I was given permission from Chef to take these pics - just an FYI!Hey, it is always in good form to ask!

I started with a mushroom terrine with a big glass of sparkling brut. Everytime I see or hear about a terrine I smile and think of my time at culinary school and me saying to my classmates "hey, if we can make a terrine, we can make anything" because honestly they are really difficult to make let alone look visually appealing AND taste good!! This terrine was all of the above. See class of 2010 George Brown Culinary School? When it's done correctly it CAN be tasty (we just didn't think so at the time!).

Then had the bouillabaisse. It was good,the base was tasty, the fish cooked perfectly but I wonder maybe just a smidge more salt and the plate itself along withe food being a bit hotter might make a difference next time??

My main was oh so mouthwatering: beautifully cooked duck confit with potato sauté and pommery mustard on the side. The skin of the duck was perfect - EXACTLY the way I love confit skin to be; crispy and good. Served with a glass of California Merlot.

The dessert provided was the standard of most Valentine's Day menus – even though this was not a Valentine's Day Menu (phew); chocolate, except the cake was so moist and the sorbet that accompanied the cake very, very chocolatey too and I have no qualms with anyone overdoing anything in chocolate (I mentioned my sweet tooth before right?).

All in all a fantastic meal – very nice way to start my time in Kyoto!! So again Happy Valentines to everyone out there - couples or singles, love you all. And Robbie, sweet pea, I'm thinking of you as always!

Next up: tour of Kyoto and a Japanese tea ceremony which should be very interesting…explanation to come. Why do I agree do to these things when I spend half my time stressing about I before hand???

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