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Friday, October 20, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 7--Niigata and Tokyo

As usual, my day started with breakfast, which this morning was minimal, for I was planning on a monumental Shinkansen bento meal, and, tonight, dinner at Robuchon:

This was a rainy day in Tokyo, again, but note in particular the hugeness of those two grapes, about the size of a ping pong ball.  I noted that there were no seeds because a device extracts them out:

The Max Toki I took has two levels.  If you're bringing a heavy suitcase, you need to deal with steps going up or down.

However, I had nothing to carry and the vantage point so high affords a better view.  The view inside:

Niigata is known for rice and sake:

That's about all you'll get about Niigata because I spent all of 45 minutes just at the train station solely to purchase what could well be the final bullet train bento I'll ever again consume:

Niigata beer, Niigata sake, salmon bento and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  One flavor was teriyaki:

This lunch cost me $25 and was a fitting conclusion to my one week on the Shinkansen.  It will be raining over Tokyo for the next few days, but from the train, that surely looked like Mount Fuji:

Getting off the train in Tokyo, I noticed that this is the year of the Shinkansen:

I stopped by Ginza to shop at Uniqlo:

I've now been in Japan for a week, and will have only my second real restaurant meal.  I dressed up for Robuchon located across the street (the French mansion closest to my room):

Joel Robuchon has 31 Michelin stars, and his restaurant across the street from my hotel is one of three 3-stars..  One floor below is his 2-star diner.  And a floor below that is his bakery.

Getting a last minute reservation at his 3-star temple can be a challenge.  However, I somehow bullied my way into a table.

I ordered their house White Burgundy and Bordeaux (a Margaux).  They use Riedel glasses here.

The bread display is wheeled to your table:

Here are portions of the menu:

For the record, I ordered the egg, artichoke and chocolate souffle' dishes. You can read the French version.  But it began with the amusement, something to do with quinoa, but I think those grains below the eatable pieces were the quinoa:

An okay start.  Next came the assortment:

This photo doesn't do justice to the french fried egg with caviar, which looked like this inside:

This could have been the highlight of the night, but the next is that caviar and sea urchin spaghetti, and I unfortunately mixed it up before taking the photo:

So which spaghetti was better, this, or the one I had yesterday (scroll down to the next posting), which cost $15, including salad and a glass of red wine?  The supplement just to add this dish at Robuchon was $30.  The classical Italian versus enhanced French Italian fusion.  I'll spare you the financial details, but I felt that the 15 times cheaper pasta was actually superior.  

The chocolate souffle' was exceptional, and came with a sherbet:

But that was not all.  There was a cheese wagon, and I selected two blues, with a glass of Port wine:

Then came two more dessert carts.  Here is only one:

After all that, just the below with a cup of cappuccino:

I only got a quarter-way through the souffle', and just could not fit any more food into my body.  The bill came with my photo.

And this one came from my camera:

I'm not that fat.  My suit is the same color as my seat, which is more like a sofa.  Incidentally, this the  the last time you'll ever see me so well dressed.  Tonight was a dress rehearsal for tomorrow, when I provide my five-minute testimonial, and no one who will be there reads this blog.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index again broke it's all-time high, up 166 to 23,329.  

The more important matter has to do with Typhoon Lan, which is now up to 115 MPH, but will strengthen at least into a Category 4 tomorrow.  

The crucial issue, for me, is the timing.  On Sunday night at 9PM, Typhoon Lan will be sufficiently south of my presence.  I leave Narita at 6:25 PM for Bangkok.  The projection remains a path straight to Tokyo.


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