Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Feast

Now I can't say I was looking forward to lunch. I had survived the raw chicken but I knew that the wedding feast would be something extra special. That fresh fish would be sourced in the morning and that the exact nature of the meal wouldn't known until then. This is, of course, was what worried me.

We walked from the shrine down to the river in light rain. We were all on a high and I admit to even singing and dancing in the middle of the bridge (no, the one sip of saki during the ceremony hadn't made me drunk but the glow of happiness did). If the photos appear of my rendition of singing in the rain appear - I promise I will post!

The scenery shrouded in mist like rain was beautiful, as if a photographer had put a soft focus filter on the lens. The hills' spring green rushed down to the river which was spanned by a bright orange bridge. The contrast in colours was stunning. However I can't provide a photo as the battery on my camera had died.

The walk to the restaurant took twenty minutes and I tried to take all the wonderful happy vibes to prepare myself. I didn't want to let Mark and Yumi down. (SueG - I don't think I explained why I was at the wedding or the relationships - Mark is DH's best friend. They went to university together. Mark was the best man at our wedding and the godfather of ds1. I met both DH and Mark on the same day 20 years ago tomorrow. Therefore when he told us that he and Yumi were getting married we wanted to be with them. He was such a special part of our wedding almost eighteen years ago it was a privilege to attend his.)

I digress. The garden leading to the restaurant was beautiful and now I realize very Japanese. We were greeting by beautiful women in kimonos and led to a special room. Each place setting was laid out precisely. Everything bar the chop sticks themselves had meaning including the chop stick 'rests' which were in a special knot shape to represent that the bond marriage cannot be untied. This knot was also used on the chopstick sleeve/envelope.

Each step of the feast had meaning from the opening toast. To Yumi filling Mark's sake cup - it was her first act for her husband as wife

The seven courses were exquisitely presented. Many times the fish was shown to us before cooking or not. I am sure by now you realize that the not cooking was what I was dreading. However, swallowing my fear and some sake I did eat my way through raw just about everything which included the extra special extra fat tuna, flounder, sea bream, lobster, abalone, pregnant octopus, and finally the sperm of sea bream.

Let's just say that I focused on the beautiful presentation (even plates that they were served on - each one specifically chosen for wedding feasts) and really enjoyed my sake!

PS - Until this trip I'd never had Japanese food and had avoided it like the plague. Now I realized I have missed out some wonderful but I'll continue to pass on the sperm of sea bream and a few other delicacies


SueG said...

Fantastic, and thanks for the explanation, Liz. What a marvelous experience for you. And what a great testimony to your friendship!

liz fenwick said...

SueG - do you mean me managing to eat... :-)

Biddy said...

WOW!! You were very brave. The rawness wouldn't have been my problem... the FISH would have been my problem!! But it all looks beautiful (as do you)

Jan Jones said...

Oh, you are so brave, Liz. I think I'd have needed copious amounts of sake!

But, hey, the plates looked pretty!

liz fenwick said...

No problem with raw - like carrots but fish and meat.... Didn't know you couldn't do fish Biddy! Thanks for saying sweet things btw.

Jan, the plates were wonderful and I wanted all of of them - I have a confession - I have a passion for plates. I running out of room for all my plates. Need to acquire another residence to keep all my plates (sad I know!)

JJ Beattie said...

OMG: respect to you Liz. I don't think I could've eaten those delicacies!

Husband is asking how do they collect the sperm of sea bream?

ChrisH said...

Sperm of anything on a plate does not sound particularly inviting :)! Was it easier when you didn't know what it was you were eating?

Anyway, exotic food aside, I've really enjoyed your account of the wedding and the photos were fascinating. Thank you.

Nell Dixon said...

Beautiful pictures, and much as I love fish and seafood some of those dishes did sound a bit challenging

Debs said...

Thanks for the photos and descriptions of everything.

All the food looks so delicate, although I have to admit I would have to pass on some of it too.

Anonymous said...

Liz and friends

This is Mark & Yumi, the couple who were married. We have really enjoyed all the photos and Liz's words. It allows us to re-live the day.

The wedding feast was quite an experience - Yumi says that the food was unusual and special - designed for a celebration.

As for the sea bream.....


DOT said...

What a wonderful wedding!

I visited Kyoto and its shrines years ago. Beautiful.

As for the food, I am drooling. I LOVE Japanese food.

liz fenwick said...

Not sure I want to go there JJ. Some things are best not even contemplated!

ChrisH - I did know what it was. DH didn't when he devoured his and said it reminded him of fois gras!

Thanks Nell.

The food was beautiful - each plate a work of art, Debs (if only it were cooked :-)

Mark and Yumi - thanks for the kind words. it must be noted that groom did not each the sperm of sea bream!!!!! :-)

DOT- Kyoto was fabulous and I am so pleased I visited with Yumi as my guide. We saw a different view which hopefully I will post on later this week.