Today my little lunch bunch ate at Kozue, the Japanese restaurant at the top of the Park Hyatt hotel in Shinjuku. It was a magnificent experience! The entire wall is windows looking out onto the city. It wasn’t clear enough to see Fuji-san, but from our perch on the 40th floor, we could see straight through to Yokohama to the north.
If the view wasn’t enough, the food was exquisite. Served by beautiful young women in stunning kimono, the black lacquer bento box practically told a story in its intricate design and contents. The first course was a bit of egg tofu in a soy milk sauce, and a clear miso soup with a dumpling made of flounder, along with a taste of burdock and ginger in it. And then came the big, two-story box. On the top there was katzuo (bonito) sashimi, and other small delicacies including a tiny squid, a shrimp head, a bit of egg rolled with cheese and a miniscule mound of sauteed spinach. The bottom layer held some grilled mackerel, simmered vegetables and two small dumplings of shrimp and corn. We paired it with a decadent glass of
Sancerre from the Loire Valley of France.
After we lingered over lunch itself, we repaired to the lounge on the forty-first floor where we had coffee and
dessert. I chose a mango tart, but one friend had chiffon cake and the other had strawberry ice cream and
raspberry sherbet served in a large martini glass. In the lounge, which had floor-to-ceiling windows, we were able to see more around the building to various other sites of the city, including all the way toward the Imperial Palace.
It was truly an unbelievable afternoon and I am privileged to have shared it with good friends. This was a celebratory lunch for our last meeting since one member is
repatriating shortly. But if I know us, it’s just for now. As expats know, it’s never goodbye for good – it’s just for now – more of a see you later. And it’s said with all the love we can muster.