[初めて居酒屋]

30 07 2008

yesterday miki invited duncan and me to join some friends of hers at yokohama. after nearly 30 minutes in the train – without any stops whatsoever – we arrived at this huge station… nearly as confusing as shinjuku. I got this feeling that if while being in tokyo you only take the train or subway and emerge out of different stations you could be easily convinced that you are always in the same place…

however, we went to an izakaya not far from the station – an izakaya is like a traditional japanese tavern, similar to spanish “bar de tapas”. now, some people say you really know how to speak japanese when you’re able to read an izakaya’s menu because absolutely everything is in japanese and the dishes have weird names you have to know – luckily miki was there!

to order the food you had a touch-screen, the size of a small laptop screen. this way you don’t have to bother the waitresses every minute – in an izakaya you start ordering a couple of things and as you keep drinking you order more. we had loads of things, from cow heel (which I’d rather not have known), to sashimi (raw fish), hiyayako (cold tofu), shabu-shabu (thin meat filets, cooked in dashi), squid “steak”, tsumetai soba (cold noodles in dashi), sara-udon (crispy-fried noodles with vegetables and seafood)…

you normally start drinking beer in izakaya – I’ve found japanese really love beer, sometimes I think even more than germans… but then miki’s friends asked for something called 男山 (man’s mountain) which is actually sake, but there they served it differently: instead of using just the typical lacquered-wood box, they put a small glass inside the box and poured the sake until it flooded both. it looks very pretty but it’s difficult as hell to drink without spilling it over you! it’s fine when you are half-way through it though. and the taste is soooooo good! like no sake I had had before. I’d say it was even sweet *>^<*  きゅうう~~~!

duncan was supposed to meet his friends in shinjuku after that but jetlag and sake are not a good combination I guess… he fell asleep on miki’s shoulder.

miki’s friends were great! if I remember correctly their names were tani-kun and sugacchi – I had to ask miki several times, I’m not very good at remembering weird japanese names, let alone nicknames! they were very surprised to learn that 嵐 and the like were popular in europe. they said that all those boys are not “real japanese men”. I asked miki what they had meant by that, but she wasn’t sure about it either – maybe it’s because they are not very close to japanese stereotypical appearance? I don’t know… they were also amazed to hear me say that I was interested in japanese culture – “why japanese culture, what culture?”

oh! and they said that I was more japanese than miki because she doesn’t like a lot of japanese dishes that I love! things like hiyayako, unagi, anko… whenever I’m out with japanese people they seem very interested in knowing my views on japanese cooking; they aways ask me “can you eat this? do you like that? have you tried so and so?” then I explain to them that in madrid there are really good japanese restaurants that serve everyday food – unlike touristic ones that stick to sushi and tempura. so I’d already tried most of the things they asked me and liked everything so far. that’s another reason for miki’s friends to say I seemed japanese – you don’t see many gaijin relishing the taste of wasabi on fresh raw fish… and then there was the sake thing; I tried duncan’s first – because they ordered for the men only – and loved it so much I ended up ordering one for myself. since miki doesn’t like sake that much, her friends were surprised to see me gulp it with joy. :)

I’m definitely going back to one of these!!! as soon as I find a japanese speaking person willing to come along, of course… all in all it was about 5000¥per person and considering we ate and drank a lot I’d say it was fair.

no photos this time though, sorry!

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