Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! Shoes, Fruit, A Plant and Some Hotpot at Katte Shabushabu

This post is a little delayed but I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

In the past I've always approached Valentine's Day of two minds - on the one hand it strikes me as a holiday created by big corporate Hallmark types eager to milk every opportunity to raid the shallow pockets of the poor everyman… on the other hand, I do love the products that it summons forth, such as flowers, candy, and perhaps most importantly, lots of unfettered affection and attention.

But honestly, who cares if this is some holiday invented by the scheming Mad Men archetypes eager to make a buck!  If it means we all pause for a second and show our loved one(s) that they are special to us, then so be it.  I'm not one to turn down a present giving or receiving opportunity.  Let's celebrate!

That said, I still refuse to buy flowers in Hong Kong and I encourage Michael to protest it.  In a typical Hong Kong shameless money grab the florists perfectly calibrate supply and demand and jack up the prices of flowers three to five fold for this special occasion.  Free market capitalists, be careful what you wish for… Bah!

My present for Michael, amidst the creative supplies required for a neat packaging job:
The end product.  Handmade note in an origami paper card!
What was the gift?  Blue Sperry boat shoes.  The man needed a pair of shoes without laces and he's not really the Tod's driving loafer type.  I have to admit he didn't love his present, but I kind of expected that.  Michael is impossible to shop for and doesn't like anything.  Now I just give him stuff I would like for him to wear and let him complain. Once the shoes are broken in and comfortable and he can slip and slide right into and out of them, they will become his shoes of choice and then all will be well.

What did he get me?  A pink flowering plant (now settled in my office), a wide variety of fruit (wax apple, cherries, a pound of mandarin oranges, and some grapes) and a date for hotpot.  That's right.  He completely does not understand the tastiness and pleasure of hotpot (he remains an unenlightened being) but he will go with me because he knows my love for it borders on the maniacal.  I guess this is love.

We went to Katte Shabushabu in Causeway Bay - it was really fantastic.  The restaurant is not easy to find though - it is located down this alleyway!  See the sign all the way at the back?  Blink and you will miss it.
The ingredients seemed very fresh and there was no MSG in any of the soup broths.  Everything tasted very clean and pure.  I ate way too much.
 You could tell it was date night by all the couples sitting side by side at the bar:
 The yakitori menu is written out beautifully in Chinese and English on a black mirrored wall that patrons face as they eat:
 The menu comes with instructions:
 My plate of Japanese kurobuta pork and fresh variety of vegetables.  Yum!
 I chose the red snapper broth.  Michael chose the sukiyaki broth.

Everyone gets their own pot.  Everyone gets a sesame dip and a ponzu dip.
 I chose the claim soup.  Michael chose the miso soup.
 I chose the glass noodles.
 Michael chose the udon - here is his after cooking:
 The remnants of our meal - when I finally called it quits and gave up on the vegetables.
Our dessert:

 The restaurant had mostly cleared out by the time we were done.  This gives you an idea of the slightly zig zag layout.
Katte, we will definitely be back.

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