Epic culinary Tuesday

Culinarily excellent week. First Wasabi by Morimoto. Now…

Epic culinary Tuesday – Breakfast

Homemade Polish cheesecake.
Homemade Polish cheesecake.

Epic culinary Tuesday – Lunch

It was 27ºC and sunny, so where else in Winterthur to eat but Goldenberg? While one goes there for the outdoor seating and the view, this time the food was excellent. The lamb, pictured, was tender and delicious. The chocolate cake with cardamom ice-cream (surprisingly adventurous flavour for Swiss restaurants, and surprisingly well-executed) was a nice balance of scrumptious chocolate heaviness and deliciously refreshing coolness.

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Epic culinary Tuesday – Supper

A bet was lost, a dinner was gained. The only thing better than eating at a 1 Michelin * restaurant is having someone else pay for it. Mesa was awesome. Easily in the top-10 meals ever, though we both agreed it was a bit heavy on the salt.

even my backpack got a seat
even my backpack got a seat
bread sticks, dried bread, nuts
bread sticks, dried bread, nuts
seven-course menu
seven-course menu
amuse-bouches #1
amuse-bouches #1
amuse-bouches #2 - on the spoons, deconstructed hugo
amuse-bouches #2 – on the spoons, deconstructed hugo
bread
bread
amuse-bouches #3 - tuna tempura
amuse-bouches #3 – tuna tempura
lamb's lettuce & egg - flan, ormalinger, bacon, french-dressing - the egg and the pork belly were particularly nicely cooked and tasty
lamb’s lettuce & egg – flan, ormalinger, bacon, french-dressing – the egg and the pork belly were particularly nicely cooked and tasty
from the lake - lake troute, ecrevisses, bisque
from the lake – lake troute, ecrevisses, bisque
beef - tartar, marrow, parmesan, rucola, sweet pepper - served on a bone on a bed of salt crystals and peppercorns - mmmm
beef – tartar, marrow, parmesan, rucola, sweet pepper – served on a bone on a bed of salt crystals and peppercorns – mmmm
ravioli - ricotta, mascarpone, salsiccia, tomato, cima di rapa - the cheeses went well together
ravioli – ricotta, mascarpone, salsiccia, tomato, cima di rapa – the cheeses went well together
Asl? and her ravioli
Asl? and her ravioli
veal - saddle, blanquette de veau, morels, peas, asparagus - sooooo tender
veal – saddle, blanquette de veau, morels, peas, asparagus – sooooo tender
cheese trolley - unfortunately we could only choose four to six pieces
cheese trolley – unfortunately we could only choose four to six pieces
cheese trolley - because one picture isn't enough
cheese trolley – because one picture isn’t enough
cheese course - divine
cheese course – divine
amuse-bouche #4 - deconstructed tiramisù
amuse-bouche #4 – deconstructed tiramisù
gin cubes, cookies, cream, cucumber - refreshing
gin cubes, cookies, cream, cucumber – refreshing
joghurette - strawberry, milk chocolate, yoghurt, basil - decadent
joghurette – strawberry, milk chocolate, yoghurt, basil – decadent
amuse-bouches #5 - the chocolate truffles and the casis / cream were the best
amuse-bouches #5 – the chocolate truffles and the casis / cream were the best

Wasabi by Morimoto

Yesterday Mike, Nabeela, Abhishek, Chirag, Abhijit and I went to Wasabi by Morimoto. While the pictures are nice, they don’t do justice to the freshness of the ingredients and the taste.

The menu
The menu
Place setting. I like the chopstick holder. The decor was primarily red and black with copper metal finishing.
Place setting. I like the chopstick holder. The decor was primarily red and black with copper metal finishing.
We had a coveted window table with a view of Mumbai's Gateway to India
We had a coveted window table with a view of Mumbai’s Gateway to India
Tempura amuse-bouche
Tempura amuse-bouche
Salmon carpaccio, hot oil, yuzu soy sauce, sardine nest
Salmon carpaccio, hot oil, yuzu soy sauce, sardine nest
Fresh-ground wasabi.  The taste was a world of difference from "normal" wasabi. Much sweeter.
Fresh-ground wasabi. The taste was a world of difference from “normal” wasabi. Much sweeter.
Sushi appetizer.
Sushi appetizer.
Note the fish-to-rice ratio on the rolls.
Note the fish-to-rice ratio on the rolls.
Spicy tuna rolls
Spicy tuna rolls
The sushi appetizer was so good I ordered a sushi main meal.
The sushi appetizer was so good I ordered a sushi main meal.
Fresh mango. Again, much better than the usual mango I'm used to.
Fresh mango. Again, much better than the usual mango I’m used to.
Wasabi crème brûlée. Amazing interplay of flavours. Very heavy crème. Thin, delicate brûlée.
Wasabi crème brûlée. Amazing interplay of flavours. Very heavy crème. Thin, delicate brûlée.
Leaving is sadness
Leaving is sadness

Mental preparation

Last week I saw old friends (and my cousin). Five people whom I’ve known for at least 20 years. It was very good to hang out, do new things, and reminisce. We all get along well… friends, spouses, and kids. Despite the passage of time and the personal growth and change that goes along with it, we all still are compatible.

I think that’s a big part of why, this week, I really enjoyed King’s Day in Amsterdam. While a city-wide street party isn’t normally my thing, this fit my mood perfectly. The sun was shining, the party calm energy to it, and it was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Am I finding more Zen moments because I’m getting lucky or because I’m more receptive to them?

Jim and Nick in orange for King's Day in Amsterdam
Jim and Nick in orange for King’s Day in Amsterdam
Party outside apartment window on King's Day in Amsterdam
Party outside apartment window on King’s Day in Amsterdam
Partying on the canals on King's Day in Amsterdam
Partying on the canals on King’s Day in Amsterdam

Get off my lawn!

Alex balked at eating strawberries without the leaves pre-removed by a parent. (“It’s not what I’m used to.”) I had to tell him that, when I was young, I had to remove the leaves myself.

Signs

Sign that I may be travelling too much: Packing for India consists of dumping clothes from suitcase into washing machine, to the dryer, and back into the suitcase.

Sweetums

Arianna get momentarily mad every time we watch The Muppet Show (or movies) because she remembers that Sweetums (which I call her as a term of endearment) is the name of one of the big Muppet monsters.

The noise in our head

While I usually think about Seth Goldin when I’m blogging about work, management, or leadership, his recent post, The noise in our head (and artificial intelligence) relates more to what I’ve been thinking about for my personal life. It dovetails nicely with some of what I’ve read in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.

The portion of interest from Seth’s blog post:

One reason we easily dismiss the astonishing things computers can do is that we know that they don’t carry around a narrative, a play by play, the noise in their head that’s actually (in our view) ‘intelligence.’

It turns out, though, that the narrative is a bug, not a feature. That narrative doesn’t help us perform better, it actually makes us less intelligent. Any athlete or world-class performer (in debate, dance or dungeonmastering) will tell you that they do their best work when they are so engaged that the narrative disappears.

I have no idea when our computer overlords will finally enslave us, but it won’t happen because we figured out a way to curse them with a chattering monkey.

A lot of the things I have been thinking about lately, meditation, yoga, zen, mind like water, have all been aimed at quieting and calming the “chattering monkey”.

So not me

No matter how high I crank up the air conditioning here, the temperature still doesn’t go down below 24°C / 75°F.

Update: It’s 29°C / 84°F with the weather listed as “Haze” and I don’t mind it.

Yoga notes

None of the local yoga studios near the hotel here in Mumbai seemed open today, so instead, a co-worker and I asked the concierge and voila, a private yoga lesson for the two of us from Subhash. Writing down what I learned today for posterity.

Sitting

  • Left leg under. Right leg on top.
  • Unlocking hips
    • Butterfly. Flap knees.
    • Butterfly with one leg extended. Flap knee. Make circles with knee both clockwise and counter clockwise.

Breathing exercises

Always with head looking up unless otherwise stated. One minute per exercise. Always breathe through the nose unless otherwise stated.

  • Hands on chest. In on 1,2,3. Out on 5,6. ~36x / minute.
  • Hands on stomach. In on 1,2,3. Out on 5,6. ~36x / minute.
  • Hands holding big toes. In on 1,2,3. Out on 5,6. ~36x / minute.
  • “Happy birthday”. Breathe in sharply 3 times. Chin to chest, breathe out sharply through the mouth.
  • “Square”. Inhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Inhale. Pinch nose with left hand. Right hand on top of head. Chin down. Swallow 5 times. Release nose. Exhale. Head up. Release head.

Lying down

Feet together, arms to side of body, then relax.

  • Sit-ups. Breathe in going back, with arms all the way above your head. Breathe out coming forward. Go all the way back and forward each time.
  • Hold both feet up at a 45 degree angle. Do the same thing with just one foot. Then the other foot.
  • With feet together, make big circles with the legs.
  • Bicycle, forward and backward.

Exercises

Names may not be quite right.

  • Stone: Kneel. Barely cross feet so one foot is lying on the other. Sit.
  • Mill: Sitting. Legs out straight and apart in a V. Interlink fingers, reverse hand position as if cracking knuckles. Make a circle with your interlinked hands attempting to touch the right, then the left foot, then back. Then go the other way.
  • Row: Sitting. Legs out straight in front of you. Put together hands as if rowing a scull. Row forward and back while keeping arms straight. Use stomach muscles, not arms.

Om

  • Pronounce as if it starts with a silent “H” like “Hom” so that it comes from the belly.
  • Mouth closed, but teeth apart
  • Loud!
  • At least 3 times

Levels

I was going to say “something I need to remember at work”, but really, this is something that I need to remember when dealing with people in general:

Don’t skip levels. Leave the little things at the little things level, and the big things at the big things level. Don’t let a small communication issue rope in all of the big picture communication problems that you have ever had with a person.

From the mouth of Alex

I understand what you do at work now dad.

You help your coworkers understand their thoughts, emotions, and their relationships with other people. You chat with them and help them be better. You print things… and do all sorts of other things that have to do with printing. And also in your free time you sometimes play foosball.