10 (Sun) March 2019
Cream Cheese in Tofu Goo
Mission to Japan, Day 1.
In Wakoshi. Here to co-coordinate the 6th Regional Workshop on Leadership and Advocacy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (LeAd-NCD), which will focus on strengthening legal frameworks – Tuesday to Friday. I had helped to organize the 4th LeAd-NCD in 2016, which was focused on childhood obesity, including legal measures to restrict marketing to children (see most recently 7.269 Grilled Shiitake). This rendition of the course brings together staff from both ministries of health and parliaments – an off-shoot of the ever-expanding program of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health.
Former colleague and dear friend TM, with whom I had the honor and aggravation and fun of organizing the parliamentarian meeting in Japan a couple years ago (see most recently 8.232 Sukiyaki), who is now back with the ministry of health, found his way to Wakoshi to join me for dinner and drinks.
The consummate epicure, he was embarrassed by what he perceived to be a dearth of worthy venues – though by objective standards, even the lowliest offerings in this humble town far exceed the best of Manila’s elite. But he made the most of a (completely not) deplorable situation by taking exquisite in ordering each dish.
Possibly the best Japanese meal that I’ve ever had, every dish enlightening and entertaining and delicious.
The most intriguing dish was the cheese and tofu goo – some kind of remnant of tofu production, creamy in texture yet delicate in flavor – fascinating.
Beyond the food and beverage, of course, I had a great time with my pal.
Many Japanese establishments offer an “all-you-can-drink” deal – say, JPY 3,000 (about USD 30) for 1.5 hrs of limitless booze. I can certainly appreciate such an offer from a personal cost-benefit perspective. However, from a public health perspective – actually, from a personal perspective as well – it’s a highly dangerous incentive for binge drinking.
As per tradition, every night that I spend in Japan includes a midnight snack, and sip.