Daddy called last week, and asked if there is any festive mood in Paris. I had to reply "none at all" and had been lackadaisickal about our celebrations beyond calling the cousins over for a reunion dinner this coming Wednesday. But yesterday the postman sent us a lovely and unexpected package from my friend L- it included a CNY card, an ang-pow for V and the above, festive greetings which back in Singapore I would have found cheesy beyond belief but somehow in Paris it just made us so happy and excited. My bank manager had also sent 5 packets of UOB ang-pow packets, which we turned into wall decorations. Some of it we will dangle from the 'chataigne' or chestnuts stalks which I've ordered from the fancy florist- it is what they call pussy willow. I also made some brittle with cashewnuts and almonds, and will have to find some other snacks to fill the snack trays. It is hardly like the frenetic celebrations back home but it'll do.
Last Friday we finally managed to visit Isami, the most well-known Japanese restaurant in Paris, or at least the supposed best. Our lunch set of nigiri sushi comes with ankimo which I was not expecting at all (there was also a separate bowl of tiny conch-shells which I gave to husband), again I never used to like it much when Thomas (of Tomo Fine Dining, Singapore) served it to us but absence must have made the heart fonder because it was so extremely deliceux I was making the most indelicate of noises in the restaurant.
The nigiri sushi does not include uni, that I ordered separately, it was okay but I still prefer Japanese uni if one can get it. The sushi items in the set were all very good, they even ask if there is anything I didn't like, so the salmon I didn't want was substituted with tuna, and the wasabi was served on the side. What I like about Isami's sushi is their rice- the seasoning is so subtle it is almost not there, so one has to chew more thoughtfully on the rice, when it eventually releases its natural sugars it then fuses with the topping in slow-motion nirvana. The maki items are all different- ume in one, minced tuna belly in another, an undefined spiciness in one which was unexpected but not unwelcomed, all in, an exciting meal. The set does not include dessert, so we walked a bit and I treated husband to a tiny cone of Berthillon caramel ice cream. Then he went back to his office, with my reminder to get his hair trimmed before CNY ringing in his head, while I took the slow bus 63 ride home.