I had the day off work today. Lucky you, you might be thinking; Valentine's Day off work! But there was a catch. I only got the day off to go for my annual physical (or "human dock" as it is called in Japan). Depending on your point of view, Japanese companies are either very generous in giving you a paid day off to get a check-up once a year, or very pushy in requiring that you actually do so. I'm in the former category, and why wouldn't I be as, in addition to checking that all my bits and pieces are in good working order, I get funny money to spend on lunch at one of around 20 nearby restaurants!
Normally I just go to a cheap and cheerful Italian chain restaurant that is actually pretty good. But seeing as it was Valentine's, I though I would splurge and go for "Modern Mediterranean" at a cafe in a swanky hotel. The restaurant itself was very classy, with massive windows offering post-card views of Yokohama Bay, the ferris wheel, and other Minato Mirai area landmarks. Being a crisp but sunny day winter's day, the view was lovely.
As it turns out, the place does a buffet lunch, which looked very yummy, but wasn't really something you would enjoy on your own. So I went the a la carte way with some spaghetti pescatore.
Bearing in mind that nothing had passed my lips since 9 pm the night before (nothing I would choose anyway; I did have to suffer through a humongous beaker of barium). And hunger is the best sauce, right? You wouldn't think there'd be any complaints from me, would you?
Things were certainly looking good when they brought round two rolls and some mildly peppery olive oil for dipping them in. Lovely!
Unfortunately, though, I have to say that I was decidedly underwhelmed by my pasta. It certainly looked good, but it was not a patch on the marinara I used to get as a staff dinner at the food court I worked in as a student. Tosca's effort was just kind of flat, and no amount of parmesan or chilli oil seemed to lift it beyond mediocre. Damn. I just don't see the point of eating out, really, if the food's not better than I could make myself. But that's just me.
There was good news on the the other gastro front, however. After all the pin-pricks and x-rays, eye tests and rolling around on the barium x-ray machine, the doctor told me that my stomach has "lovely clean lines", and pronounced it to be "beautiful". Hooray!!! (Or something (g).)
Let's hope it stays that way, because I plan on giving it gastronomic workouts for many years to come (g). But hopefully not with food that disappoints. Life's too short for that.