Saturday, November 26, 2005


Being not too smart, I decided to wait until the Saturday before the closing date to check out the Isamu Noguchi exhibition. This is what the queue for tickets looked like:

The exterior of the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art looked pretty cool but my high hopes were dashed by a shoddy, pre-fab interior. I was also disappointed by the way in which the works were exhibited - architectural sculpture is supposed to be as much about the work's surroundings as the work per se (at least this is what I read on the Art For Dummies explanation on the wall, which was riddled with strange phrases and awkward syntax).

Usually, when I go to an exhibition, I like maybe 60% of the work, at most. Perhaps it was partially because it was a retrospective (or wholly because Noguchi is a goddamn genius), I loved 90% of it. In fact, I'm glad I saw Isamu Noguchi after Stephan Balkenhol; to have done otherwise may have ruined the Balkenhol exhibition for me completely.

It was a haul and a half to get to the museum but it was worth every smelly second on the Hanzomon line. All the excitement must have burned a thousand calories because at Futako Tamagawa station my body went into auto-pilot and I found myself at Moti (where I had a salad, Tandoori Prawns, Special Punjabi Tikka, Nan, and some amazing vegetable curry with minced aubergines).

I can't recommend the Punjabi Tikka, Tandoori Prawns, and aubergine curry enough. The Tikka consisted of the most tender, succulent morsels of spicy-hot chicken one could imagine. Likewise, the prawns were juicy and rich in flavour, and the portions are generous. And the curry! What can I say. It was sennn-sational.

Purists say Moti is like Indian McDonald's. I say I don't give a rat's ass. I've been going to Moti since the 7th grade and I love their saccharine iced teas, skimpy salads with Thousand Island dressing (whoever thought of mixing ketchup and mayonnaise and putting it on vegetables should be lauded for his/her impeccable bad taste), and bright red (thus somewhat alarming) Tandoori specialties. And I love that in a huge city like Tokyo, I can walk into Moti and the waitress will bring me my iced tea before I even order. It's like Cheers - where everybody knows your name.

I've had a culinarily exciting week, now that I think of it. Thanksgiving dinner at the
Pink Cow, which was quite good if not a bit overpriced... Fantabulous pasta in Jiyugaoka... And I've uncovered the best dessert recipe to date. Baked custard as it was meant to be - easy peasy, just eggs, sugar, milk, and a vanilla bean or two. 30 minutes and 650 yen later, you get a basin of comforting, eggy-yellow, springy pudding sitting in a pool of smoky caramel. I'll be making another one tomorrow, to bring to a friend as a birthday treat.

Just realized this post started out as a report on the Isamu Noguchi exhibit... Maybe I should just re-categorize this site as a food blog, since that's where I always seem to end up.


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