In between these, we also try to plan our meals revisiting our old haunts -- good old Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice and dry beef horfun at Chin Chin; the sole mio pizza at Mario's; tandoori chicken and curry at Samy's; nachos and Asian grilled chicken wings washed down with golden ale at Brewerkz; rojak and sliced fish beehoon soup (with milk!) at Wisma's Food Republic; xiaolongbao, braised beef noodles soup and shrimp wanton noodles soup at Din Tai Fung (the one in KL Pavilion just couldn't cut it)... A long list which is limited only by the number of nights allocated for each trip.
We are such creatures of habit that we almost always order the same items at these places. Hence our broken hearts when we walked to our regular Japanese manga store cum home-cooked food café, only to be shocked by slabs of bare concrete walls through glass panels, not even the tiniest hint of what was previously there. I'd dare say for that few minutes, hunger was taken over by sadness.
It's been three days and memories of Bon Goût at Robertson Quay still linger on. The motherly Japanese lady boss and her younger hippy-chic assistant, the odd duo (one tiny Ah Pek and the other his exact opposite) working in the kitchen who'd sneak a peek at the diners when they were less busy, the sight of Japanese families quietly reading their mangas or magazines after a meal, the rice cookers and slow cookers sitting along the wall behind the service counter, and the unpredictable genres of music playing on the blue portable player near the cashier.
Yes, it was so regular that we had even gone there both lunch and dinner on the same day. And I regret having only ever taken two photos there.
I suppose the coffee table we have for our living room will always remind me of the tables and counter by which we used to sit at Bon Goût, as they are all of the same shade of wood. And the simplicity of a home-cooked Japanese meal inspired by their menu: udon with cod, naruto maki, and fresh greens in miso soup.
And not forgetting your shoyu ramen, which had become our own little joke, as JL would say "I'll shoyu ramen" when he really means "I'll show you". So thanks for the good-tasting memories and inspiration, and I secretly hope that one day, my collection of pretty little stoneware dishes will be as widely assorted as yours. One day.