I think it’s probably no surprise that food is a big passion of mine. I love reading recipes, planning out what I’ll eat for the week (bonus – this helps reduce food waste and the shopping bill too!) and getting creative in the kitchen. If I’m going out to eat I also like to have a clear idea of what’s on offer so I can choose the absolute best thing on the menu – my husband will tell you, I’m an excellent orderer. The only way I’ve let someone else order for me before is if the waiter has recommended a certain drink, however with food, I’ve never handed over the reins. Today though, caution was thrown to the wind, and I let my friend Vikki order my entire meal for me.
We decided to go to a Japanese Izakaya restaurant, Mangetsu. Somewhere I’d been before, but I’d only eaten the chicken karaage or ramen. I’m not very familiar with the menu, and I’m still a relative newcomer to Japanese food in general so this was a great choice. My friend loves Japanese food and is a regular at this restaurant, so I felt confident she wouldn’t steer me wrong. The Izakaya style is a little like a Japanese tapas, you order a variety of dishes and they come, staggered, through the evening. It was great to do the experiment here as it meant I could try a variety of new dishes instead of just one.
My only rules were no mushrooms, and nothing too fishy (I’m not big on fishy tasting fish – I know, I know), so this pretty much ruled out sushi which I was glad about. Although she was a little nervous to pick the wrong thing, she actually chose perfectly and I had 3 tasty dishes, that were totally new.
This food was so tasty, very savoury and salty which I loved, but the kushikatsu came with a delicious miso sauce and another one that I didn’t catch the name of but was a little like a barbecue sauce – I mean you can’t really go wrong with fried food and barbecue sauce.
My experiment in letting go of control was a roaring success! Obviously, it helps that my friend knows me pretty well and could make a good guess of what I’d enjoy, but even so, it’s something that I never dared do before for fear of missing out. It helped that I didn’t look at the menu so I didn’t know what else I could have eaten, and it was also nice to have a selection of dishes to try. I normally don’t have dessert when I go out for a meal, as it never seems to be as good as I imagine, but tonight Vikki had one more surprise in her and she ordered us warabi mochi.
Unlike my last experience with mochi, I bloody loved this! Soft and chewy, and quite refreshing, it was served with ice cream and adzuki beans and was downright delicious.
I enjoyed this so much that I’ll definitely do it again. I’m not quite trusting enough to let a stranger choose my dishes, but I’ll absolutely let my dining partner pick my food again. A fun, and successful experiment!