Tuesday, April 21, 2009


if i ever got pregnant, i reckon i'd probably be one of those annoying women who had the most inappropriate cravings at odd times and tortured her husband till she was sated. actually. i'm not pregnant (never have been) and i'm like that already. inappropriate cravings at odd times. maybe that's why i'm still single. menfolk are aware i'd be a terrible and tortuous wife to bear. childbearing would be a trial to both of us - definitely for him because he'd be sent out to procure odd things to eat at odder times. and i'd probably just dream some of these up just to be a pain and to torture him for fun.

reading murakami's norwegian wood on holiday made me crave sushi. which wouldn't normally have been an issue had i been in london. there are 4 within a 10 minute stroll from slavedrivers inc. not so in landlocked austria, land of schnitzel and strudel - and definitely not on the mountains in zillertal where we were. i did like the schnitzel and the strudel. but all those mention of sushi bento boxes in the novel was making me sushi hungry. i wanted raw fish. raw, cold, fresh slices of otoro, suzuki, amaebi and sake, glistening balls of ikura atop gunkanmaki, sweet pouches of inarizushi. lots of wasabi tinged shoyu. anything but yet another schnitzel.

so first day back to reality and LG was drafted for dinner duty after work - we were going to ribon near st paul's. i used to go with regularity when working at a client's round the corner, but hadn't been for ages.

i like ribon. the food's properly japanese. the prices are rather reasonable. a great selection of sushi, sashimi, donburi type bowls, udon, yakitori sticks and other izakaya type food. it's a lovely, cosy, cavernous space with none of the chi-chi pretension of other wannabe sushi bars that give up taste in the pursuit of trendiness. japanese businessmen and nomura bankers come here for sake drinking sessions in the basement. and the sweet waiter who served us was very cute. and very nice. he brought me extra napkins to blow my nose and showed the right amount (i.e. lots and lots) of concern when he noticed i had a cold. i'm such a sucker for sympathy.
eschewing the good value set menus for the choice of ordering what we wanted off the alacarte menu. we went for the mixed sashimi, a couple of maki rolls, agedashi tofu, gyoza, unagi, and a bowl of udon for my cold. one must always have noodle soup when sick. it definitely hit the sushi craving spot. the fresh slices of sashimi was just what i needed. the raw freshness of each slice, dipped in wasabi and shoyu, eaten in one slithery mouthful. i am convinced wasabi is the way forward for curing colds. the udon was a delight to eat - none of the homecooked prefab thick slodges of rice noodle - here were delicate strands in a light broth, with mange tout and wakame. the agedashi tofu was simply beautiful - a simple dish, often wrecked by inattention and . cubes of deepfried tofu, doused in a light soy/dashi sauce, topped with a healthy mound of finely grated daikon.

ribon have a delivery service. so if you work in the city, you're in luck. spare a thought for us poor sods stuck out in canary wharf. no one good ever delivers so far east.