Friday, November 15, 2013

Friend's Hospitality / 友達のお・も・て・な・し

Last week, a friend of mine who is ten years my senior invited me and the wife (and another friend) to his home.  My friend (Yamakawa-san) and his wife and just vacationed in Istanbul, Turkey a couple of months ago so his wife decided to serve us a Turkish meal.  I had met Yamakawa-san at a neighborhood rock bar called "Dokken" (yet another story in itself).  The owner, Dokken-san (not his real name) was also invited.  Yamakawa-san was one of the first people to take me under his wings and taught me what having fun in Tokyo is all about.  He took me to my first yatai (food booth), invited me out to Hyakunincho Yatai-mura (a collection of Southeast Asian restaurants with tables set in an open court, run by Southeast Asians, and made you feel like you were in another country).  He took me to the first Thai Festival (which by the way was sponsored by Thai Airlines and was in October).  Its now held every May and is sponsored by the Thai Embassy.  He took me to this underground event called "Dept. H" (which would be an entire story on its own).  He was and is a drinking buddy and is always entertaining to talk to.  And so is his wife who loves bluesy rock music and good food.


The first dish to come to the table was a very nicely spiced kebab.  This always reminds of why I like Middle Eastern food so much.


This was followed by kefte (a mildly spicy meatball) with spiced carrots as well.


I don't know what the official name is for this particular rice dish, but don't eat it yet!


Once you pour on the yogurt sauce, then it will be ready for consumption.


You can find restaurants that serve Ghengis Khan (a lamb dish) but you would have to search hard to find a place that serves lamb chops.


The final dish to be served was a staple dish in the Middle East and along the Mediterranean - couscous.  There are so many varieties of this dish I wouldn't be able to explain what it should taste like.  We topped the couscous with some halissa (a hot pepper sauce) to give it an even greater kick.


Bon Appetit!


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