Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cha-An Redux

One of my very best friends - Kate - was in town from Michigan last week. It had been about four years since I had seen her and it was four years TOO LONG! We met in Kyoto when we studied abroad our Junior year and we became fast friends. We had so much in common and could always have a great time together - usually involving us making fun of ourselves as we tried to navigate through Japan with our less than stellar Japanese.

We started our afternoon at the Frick Museum where we snuck in with our "student IDs." I had never been there and it is one of Kate's favorites, so it was extra special. It's great because it's not a huge museum (it used to be the Frick residence) so it's easily digestable. They have a free audio tour, too, which came in very handy. The great thing about going there with a friend is that you can both listen to different things and then share what you learned without having to listen to another description. The building was beautiful as well as exhibit itself. They have 3 Vermeer paintings and from what I remember Kate telling me, there's only 18 total!

We did have a moment where Degas schooled us from the grave and another moment that tested our geography. Let's just say, our social studies teacher would be very ashamed. And for all of you who don't know: The Netherlands is often (and incorrectly) called Holland. 'Nuff said.

Our next stop was...

Cha-An!!! Kate read about it on the blog and wanted to check it out, too!

I very happily obliged!

After we had ordered, Kate brought out a beautifully packaged box :D Happy Early Birthday to me!!! Kate is a printmaker and has a passion for paper and everything beautiful. This package (much like the one back in August) was so her! She used double-sided tape and pinned the ribbon with needles! She also re-used this paper from something else! Such a work of art...

Inside were the most beautiful earrings I've ever gotten. They're cherry blossoms - my favorite! AND they're made by a local Detroit artist, making them all the more special. A little bit of Michigan, a little bit of Japan, and ALL Kate!

Kate also told me how she collected blue and white mugs. I think it's a great idea because I always have mismatched mugs which makes the anal-retentiveness in me uneasy. But this way, they always match in some ways and it makes mug-hunting all the more fun and challenging!

So you can imagine how excited we were when our genmaicha tea came out in these tea cups!

It's me and Kate!

And here's a shot of the kitchen area:

It's rather small.

And then our entrees came out! We had the toast of the day, which was toast with smoked salmon, mustard with some kind of melted cheese (possibly provolone...) with julienned radishes and a heap of shiso on top.

Amazing and DELICIOUS! The strong flavor of the salmon really balanced with the cheese and mustard and of course, the bread! The shiso on top also gave it a different earthy dimension. Yum!!!!!! This actually filled me up for almost 6 hours!!! Well, this and the dessert...

This "hat" was made from toasted sesame seeds!

The green tea filling of the roll cake was delicious and nice and light. Of course it went well with the red beans. Unfortunately, the "sake ice cream" ended up being straight-up vanilla. I'm pretty sensitive to alcohol-tinged things in my dessert and I know for a fact that there was no sake in it!

It was still good, though, don't get me wrong. But not worth the $8.50 if all you're getting is the roll cake.

It was such a great meal with a great friend. I'm sure the food was enhanced by the company but boy, was that smoked salmon toast GOOOOOOOOD.

If this post and this post doesn't make you want to run to Cha-An, I don't know what will.

I love you and miss you, Kate!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Frick, it's Jon & mine's favorite museum in NYC so far!!! Glad you enjoyed it!