Of course, no surprise there, but Endo-san had never planned to meet us for unagi as he had some highfalutin lecture on food safety to attend to in Roppongi.
Nonetheless, Tatsumiya, where I recalled having been some years ago with the EE (extremely estimable) Yuko as soon as I saw the uphill walking street to reach it, was every bit as good as I recalled it having been. They might have shut off the Japanese version of “American Idol,” what with the zombie audience swaying left to right, palms touching palms lighter than applause at Wimbledon, but the contest did not detract from the eel.
We’re talking little bento boxes about four by six inches across: A bed of freshly steamed, small grain rice topped with freshwater eel that has been steamed first and then grilled and brushed with a lightly caramelized soy. Sweet, but salty, savory but gentle in the mouth, textures not quite firm. Not rubbery or flavorless like the stuff from EC (Evil China) sold in packages globally. Oiishi, right? Simply, the best I have had in years.
Fortunately, it’s summer, unagi season throughout Japan.
Though, and however, I left for Narita soon after for the Midnight Ride to Bangkok. Reached the St. R as Sunday turned into Monday, a transition eased by a cold one and a good Club and fries.
The girls? W-A-S-T-E-D, ‘natch, but they arrived separately at 2:00 A.M. on a separate flight. Plus, they don’t have my Racehorse Gene.
Later today it’s meetings with editors from T+L Southeast Asia regarding my work in Japan. Then I think that the plan is a rooftop Italian joint right here.
But first a swim.