Well, I’m still a bit hungover and definitely still full after last night’s dinner with Mr. H and his staff. Mr. H is the student of mine that introduced us to ballroom dancing. Despite having turned 70, he still knows how to party!
He picked us up in a taxi and took us all the way to Seki city. My wife was relieved when Mr. H turned down my offer to pay the fare and instead put the $70 bill on the company expense account!
Although I’ve been in Japan for nearly ten years, it was the first time I’d been to a restaurant like this one. I can’t remember what this 12-course meal was called but it was split into wooden boxes with each one steamed on the table in front of us. We were given an egg timer and told to turn it over every three minutes, and to change the box every six minutes. This meant that we had to scoff down the contents of each box before the next one was ready, and every time we’d forget to turn over the timer the chef would jump up and down causing mass panic as we rushed to finish what we were eating, change box and start again.
Each box contained something different, form beef to oysters, rice balls and sweet dango (Japanese dumpling). The meal was wrapped up with a huge plate of crab which we had seen alive just a couple of hours earlier!
Now apparently this restaurant is so popular that you have to make a reservation a year earlier, and this was Mr. H’s way of thanking his staff, and his English teacher! One of the women at the party took photos of every course for her own blog, since nobody would believe she went there without photographic evidence!
After we were completely stuffed, we all jumped in taxis again for another long drive to Gifu city where we sang karaoke at a Japanese ‘snack’ bar. This really capped the night, as the ‘master’ made us wear flashy frocks and glittering jackets when we sung. He also did a comical enka routine with the hostess which had Mr. H laughing so hard I thought he was going to keel over!
Having entertained over a hundred kids at a kindergarten event in the morning (niko niko nikku no eigo asobi, or “Smiley, Smiley Nick’s English Playtime”), I was absolutely beat, so while party-hard Mr. H and his staff went to another bar, Mami and I took another long taxi drive all the way home, courtesy of Mr.H’s expense account!