Sushi, Sashimi, Chawan Mushi, Yakitori, Macha Ice Cream, and at lot more. And last, but not the least, the Bon Odori Festival. Sugoi!
Yesterday was quite an unusual theme for my weekend. It was a tiring and tummy-overloaded Saturday, Japanese style.
At around 11:15 in the morning, Wai Kong fetched me and Pats for our buffet lunch at Umai-ya – a Japanese restaurant, in Damansara Uptown. This actually is our 4th time to have a lunch buffet there, and the roster of our lunch-buddies was a bit complete: Beng Ghee and Woon Siew, KC and Katherine, Chih Kok, Wai Kong, Ryan, Lilian, Pats and me.
We had all the Japanese dishes that we usually order, well except for the oysters which Ryan and Wai Kong devoured. Poor oysters. For a rather obvious reason, the dishes there were great, despite of having them a lot of times: Salmon Sashimi was exhilirating as always; Kaki fried Tofu and Chawan Mushi were very satisfying; Macha Ice Cream was soothing and delicious; and the rest were superb as well. And my latest discovery – jellyfish-something (…forgot the name of the dish…hehe) which was sweet and sour with a little kick to it. Nice!
I felt like my tummy went zero to sumo, just the way it did when we had our lunch at Restoran New Paris. Good thing is that Umai-ya’s hot green tea is bottomless. It somehow eases the “fullness” of the stomach…making me eat more. Hehe… =P
Later in the afternoon, the 33rd Bon Odori Festival was held at the Panasonic Sports Complex (former Matsushita Centre) at Seksyen 21 in Shah Alam. Being an enthusiast of the Japanese culture, I decided to go there the day Buddee and Donn informed me about it. I have always been captivated by their culture: the colorful Kimonos, Samurai, Ninjas, Nihonggo, Sushi, all-time fave Katsudon, Anime, Mt Fuji, and of course, one of my must-do-before-I-die: read a book under a Sakura – I have been long-fascinated by this tree, with its leaves falling onto me until I get to the point of irritation. Hehe.
We arrived at the venue around past 5:30 pm. The sun was still high that time, so it was still hot. In turn, we were not able to stroll around much – there weren’t really much to go about anyway. There were lots of people in the area in which the food stalls selling Japanese dishes and desserts were located. We wandered as well under the heat of the sun, and dust clinging onto my nostrils. But since we’re still full from our lunch, we didn’t buy anything anymore. So, we headed to a shaded area viewing the stage, sat on the grass, waited for 7:00 pm (official start of the event), and watched people pass by.
7:00pm came, and the event was officially started. Taiko drummers came up the center stage and striked their poses, and performers in their kimono gathered around the edges of the stage and started dancing the moment the music was played. It was fascinating how the performers were giving their best for the performance, and the crowd waving their Japanese Palace Fans to the tune of the music and the beat of the drums. These, of course, are based on the blurry images that my poor eyes can see from afar. Hehe. Despite my poor eyesight, I enjoyed the music and seeing the crowd participating and enjoying.
After the drum and dance opening performance, several students strutted a cultural dance which reminded me of my high school days. No, we didn’t perform any Japanese dance before, but what I remember is the fun during practice, the pressure before the performance, and the satisfaction after it.
“Desert rose iyeh-iyehhhhh” ;D
We went home after the dance, there were still other performances after that though. It was a kinda bitin (conio mode ‘ON’). I was also hoping for fireworks but I heard it didn’t had any. Nevertheless, it was a fun event and I’m looking forward to the next one – granted I’m still here.