Table service for two

IMG_1647sushi train

IMG_1636sushi train

People’s fascination with cafes and restaurants still does not seemed to have peaked. Our post Covid economic recovery now is heavily reliant on the reopening of eating places. Ordinary people are now burdened by this Government to increase their patronage, and not to stop using those venues, no matter how this last year has exhausted, not just their will to keep going, but also their finances. And that is apart from those establishment themselves trying to keep heads above water. Often severely financially tired chefs would feature being interviewed on the TV while listlessly stirring a wooden spoon in a pot of gruel while facing a single diner, if not a totally empty café. There were so many lockdowns, lockouts and group limitations of no more than five or seven, that cafes were either knocked out or buckled under.

This Covid now has peaked and in Australia at least there hasn’t been any new cases and if there are, they are confined to just two or three people locked in hotel quarantine that are using aerosol nebulizers whose covid loaded vapors seep underneath doors or through air conditioners. TV is also showing  politicians baring a single arm, smiling a bit sheepishly getting the first of the vaccination jabs. A problem now popped up is getting people actually interested in getting the vaccination. There have been almost as many shark attacks than people getting the Covid of late. 

In this spirit of helping the country recover financially, my new found love Annette and I now have visited a number of well established eating venues that managed to withstand Covid and the shifting tectonic economic plates. One of them was a Japanese sushi bar. I have often stood still watching people eating and picking little plates that go around and around on some kind of rail system. I loved watching it and was mesmerized yet did not have the courage to ever try it out. It seemed such an advanced way of eating and I was conscious of my ineptitude of what would be  a form of eating of which my ignorance would show as soon as I walked into such a bar. I have great difficulty in showing airs of confidence or ‘nous’ especially in public. Fortunately, Annette has no qualms about this and I followed her bravely and with some nonchalance. It works by the platters that the food comes around and around with in being of different colours and each colour has a price that differs from the other platters. When one has eaten enough you simply take the empty different coloured platters to the cashier and you get the bill.

It was a unique way of dining and we loved it. I know a sushi train bar here in Bowral and we shall try that out next time.

I will keep you informed.

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43 Responses to “Table service for two”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    Being introduced by Annette to a Japanese sushi bar – how much better could life be? Yes, keep us informed about the sushi train bar in Bowral when you try that out next time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Uta. We were walking around Annette’s place in Sydney
      to try and find somewhere to eat when her daughter advised us to try this sushi bar. It was quite large and very busy.
      It was a revelation to me.


  2. leggypeggy Says:

    Glad you are helping the economy to recover. Delicious way to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. catterel Says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to discover something new in your old age? Sushi is very expensive here, but I had the great privilege of letting the New Year in with company that included a lovely Japanese lady who spent hours making sushi for all of us. I also am fascinated by the circulating plates in bigger sushi bars – such a clever idea. Hope you and Annette have lots of opportunities to discover more new experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, who would have thought love would flower again at old age? Always a good way to nurture that, is to care for nice food. The sushi bar we visited wasn’t expensive at all. Most of the customers seemed softly spoken Japanese and appeared to be students. The food was sculptured (made) in front of your eyes and that was part of the enjoyment as well.
      Annette and I are in a new world right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    OOOH! Yay for you and Annette dining out! Japanese food is a fav of mine! We have a Japanese restaurant close that has THE best food! And they are so generous and kind with their food portions and how they treat their customers!
    Please DO let us know about the Sushi Train Barn after you visit!
    Keep having fun fun FUN!!! 😉 😀 Keep getting out there and discovering new things, making memories, with each other!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I meant to add…
    PATS and RUBS for Mr. Milo!!! Hope he is doing well! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. bkpyett Says:

    Great to read your post, Gerrard and to know you’re being brave! So pleased you’ve met Annette to give you a new lease of life. Keep discovering new things! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    You never cease to amaze me Gez. This time it’s that despite the rich tapestry of your life as we know it, you have not previously experienced dining by the sushi train.

    FM and I have been dining a la sushi for tens of years. It has well and truly become unremarkable- that is until I reflect our shared experience of growing up in the white bread south west of Sydney. For our lovely fellow bloggers, that was before even Italian restaurants popped up in the suburbs and towns of Oz.

    I remember seeing people sending out for pizza on Disneyland, completely oblivious to what that meant. It was even pre-Mac Donald’s.

    I do remember my first Big Mac (but not my last one). I was about 17. I was going to a folk festival in Canberra and Maccas was the only place open. That was because it was Good Friday. I was ravenous (a precondition for eating at Maccas these days still).

    But it forever lost its taste when I realised that it WAS Good Friday and our family tradition was to never eat meat on Good Friday. We were not religious but it was considered bad karma to eat red meat on Good Friday. It felt like I had blown my shot at eternal life at age 17.

    With a move into the Inner West for Uni in the early ‘70s, came a fabulous festival of “ethnic tucker”. I fondly remember Emads in Strawberry Hill the Lebanese tucker centre of the universe. It was delicious and student-priced. It was de rigeur to go there a bit high and with the munchies. Second Lebanese delight of the day.

    But back to sushi bars. Most sushi trains are passably good but some are truly brilliant- and as catterel said, expensive. There is a big difference in the complexity, visual appeal and taste and texture between the great and the industrial sushi. Best of all is to really enjoy the flavour but not pig out. As a fine dining experience, a superior sushi dinner with a dash of saki is far cheaper than say French food, more delicate and refined than Italian.

    For me, British food is an oxymoron from the land that gastronomy forgot.

    Regards to you and Annette.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Trouserzoff. It amazes me too, but there you go, there is hope for all of us.

      Growing up in Suburbia has a lot to answer for, however the reverse might be that without the endless ennui of my youth in the land of the Venetian blinds, nodding petunias and cemented rockeries, I would not now enjoy the delights of almost everything that passes my conscience.

      As you know, after my marriage I never returned to that era and area except the occasional visit to re-kindle memories. My parents’ house has been demolished and made way to a monstrous Mac Mansion no doubt with media rooms, home theatre and outside Roman columns.

      As for food, yes , from the local Aussi Chinese, it progressed to first Italian pizza, pasta an pastrami to Lebanese. The latter was indeed Emads. I still think a good Lebanese platter is hard to beat. Yes, I know of no English food establishment and I know that mince pies feature a lot during Christmas and people go on about Yorkshire pudding, but…but . Eating cold cabbage standing up in a draught is still the English most preferred food and way of staying alive, but barely so.

      My eating sushi and raw fish of course originated from my birth. Raw herring is given in Holland to babies from birth. We used to be able to buy herrings from supermarkets but now my only herring shop is Harris Farm, which you might know is a very large food distributor of very fine food including fresh fish and the most coveted Yellow fin tuna which I eat on Friday ( no meat, still a throw-back to my somewhat disturbing Catholic anti-masturbating upbringing.)

      Regards to you and FM,


    • janesmudgeegarden Says:

      Oh my goodness. Emads! We went there in about 1973 and have returned countless times since then. I remember how the crockery came from so many different places, such as the Narromine Bowling Club, according to the little monogram on the plates. We still go, and our children go also. As for getting high, I think that could happen simply by being there!
      As for sushi, we find it quite cheap and usually very nicely presented.
      Gerard, I recommend Chinese dumplings. They are very tasty too.
      I’m very glad you and Annette have found each other!


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Emads is almost like a national institution. Who would have thought in the fifties and sixties that going to cafes and restaurants would become so popular?
        Now, it seems to be the country’s last hope of reviving the economy.
        Yes, we had a Yum Cha the next day of which I will write next time.
        Annette and I are fortunate to have met and now walk arm in arm.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. auntyuta Says:

    Therese, after all that what you have written about ‘fine’ dining and so on, I am contemplating now to maybe one day be brave enough to try a bit of sushi. One of my daughters and her husband often go for sushi. For them it is a natural thing to do. They also like a lot of other good food. Eating always well, is at the top of their list. But they do not always go for the most expensive food. They do like for instance a very traditional Hamburger!

    I like a good traditional Hamburger too, especially when I am very hungry! But mostly I go for tasty vegetarian food. When I can get a lots of different vegies for instance, that are not over-cooked, I am very happy. The vegies have their own flavour and don’t need extra spicing. Whenever I eat a tiny amount of red meat, I like to spice it with hot chilli . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I used to eat hamburgers and the last one was about 11 years ago. I remember it well. It was a sunny day and I felt hungry, and just popped into a local Macdonald’s. They had already introduced a way of ordering it via a device bolted on a wall. You had to type in your choice and name which was then called out when ready.

      Anyway, I ate the hamburger and even though the interior was edible, I never took to the soft mushy bread bun. Another put off was a fellow sitting there with gross oversized monstrous knees I have ever seen. He was eating as if his knees depended on it. I should be more tolerant, but I had to go home.

      I actually prefer lamb burgers. I too am now drawn to vegetables as getting older means smaller meals. Living on own means discipline to look after yourself with good nutrition. Annette also likes good food and it shows in her attractive petite figure.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robert Parker Says:

    I like the idea of this conveyor belt dining, it just seems fun! And it would stop the indecisive people, who study a menu endlessly like it was sacred text, and then heaven forbid someone hands them a wine list, many of us will fade away while they ponder that.
    If they’re going to call it a sushi train, however, they should be required to use small locomotives to pull the food around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Robert. A little locomotive pulling the train of food would be nice. Yes, I also noticed that people study those menus as if preparing for a wedding. And that business of trying out the first snifter of the wine and then giving the nod of approval. How silly.

      Have you noticed too that the size of the pepper grinder is proportionate to the cost of the food?

      Liked by 2 people

  10. shoreacres Says:

    Your sushi train brought to mind my favorite dim sum: I love the little carts they wheel around among the tables, allowing you to pick “one of this and two of those, please.” I’ve not been a fan of sushi, or at least I haven’t yet tried those involving raw fish. There are some made with rice, seaweed, and so on that I’ve had, and enjoyed. I suspect that in Houston or other larger communities there might be a restaurant where I’d be more likely to give it a try. I’d want to be sure of the ingredients and the care taken by the chef, no doubt.

    What has kept me perplexed and amazed is the photo of Annette. When I first saw her, I thought that a woman from my community had made it to Australia; she looks exactly like the woman I know. Exactly. Here’s the perplexing part: I don’t know (or can’t remember) where I’ve met the woman here. I suspect she must be a resident in my apartment complex, or perhaps a member at the yacht club where I spend so much time. I’m going to have to consult with a couple of other friends here who might know “our” woman. I’ve never before come across someone who might as well be a twin of someone else I’ve come across. If I can figure it out, I’ll let you know.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Linda.
    I was brought up on raw fish or rather fish that has been cured in brine. Of course, the Japanese eat their tuna or salmon totally raw but often spiced with wasabi and some soya sauce. One reason for high heart failures in Japan is high blood pressures due to too much salt intake. So, I try to be careful but I have the opposite, low blood pressure, perhaps that explains my aversion to sweets and fondness of salty things.

    I am also baffled by your duppel ganger image after you having seen Annette’s photo. Very amazing. Annette has spent a few weeks in NYC but never in Texas. Her ex-partner is an American, but that’s all
    Sometimes I have come across people that I have seen before and lately a woman walking her dogs shouted to me from across the road, ‘Hey Gerard’. She looked a complete stranger but she told me she lived when still a teenager in the same street that we were living in. It was during 1976-1985. She recognized me after all those years.

    I was flattered. And last week, Annette and I were in a restaurant and another person recognized me and told me he had been to the same primary school as my late son Nicholas.
    It is a wonderful world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, am I right in thinking that Annette’s looks are suggesting Dutch heritage?

    I have another website where I tend to publish stuff that I think my children maybe do not want to see. But I have problems with getting a response to this website by other bloggers. I wonder why . . . .

    For instance nobody seems to have looked at my last blog from this site so far. In this blog I write about “Ups amd downs in a 64 year old marriage,” and I ask “What is the right kind of contraception?”:

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I had a look at your other website that you are advertising here. I suggest you put the same link on your website as well.
      Every marriage has ups and downs. The good ones somehow survive when both are willing to work together in ‘the kitchen of give and take’.
      Our contraception was easily achieved when I had a vasectomy back in 1971 or so.
      No, Annette has no Dutch background, Uta.


      • auntyuta Says:

        Some men would never agree to a vasectomy. Peter was one of them. So this was not a solution for us, none at all.
        Put the link on my website? Sorry, sorry, sorry . . . . This would mean that my children for sure would gain access to that other website! Am I being difficult in being so concerned about my children not seeimg what I write on that other website? This is a worry I con’t need. Well, there is already a slight chance that they might accidentally reach the other website. Why am I so frightened that the children might find out about our marriage difficulties? Somehow, I never talked about this to them openly. Was that wrong? I am sorry, Gerard, to put all this on your website. Very sorry. I should not have done this. Please, forgive me. Feel free to wipe out what I have written.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am not at all put out by you posting your other blog details here, Uta.
        Feel free!
        I had no qualms about my vasectomy at all but understand some men do or did. I have never felt that it would restrict or alter my being a person of the male sex.

        Your children are all married and probably going through the same issues that married people go through.
        In he meantime Annette and I are are planning to go and visit the local Sushi train here in Bowral.

        Again, Uta. Feel free to write or post anything here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Oh Gerard, you are so generous. Thank you for that. Have a very good weekend witth Annette and enjoy the Sushi in Bowral. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Fun to see a photo of Annette, Girard. And good to see you out enjoying various restaurants. They are still shut down tight here, except for take-out. Peggy and I are eager to eat out again. We’ve had both of our vaccinations now. And it seems that the number of cases in America are dropping substantially. Fingers crossed. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good to hear both you and Peggy had your vaccinations. Here they are starting to roll them out too.
      Yes, Annette and I are so fortunate to have met. She is a wonderful caring woman and very level headed. We have lifted anchor and are sailing now.
      We are meeting at my place this week-end and next will be her place. And so it goes!
      Glad to hear that the US is now winning the battle against this virus.


  14. bkpyett Says:

    All well here Gerard, just had a birthday and grateful to be healthy and enjoying life too! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. rangewriter Says:

    Well done. And, happy to learn that things have progressed with Annette!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Forestwood Says:

    Glad to hear that you are out and about with your new love!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Charlotte Hoather Says:

    Great to read this lovely post, Gerard, and to learn that you’ve met Annette. I love sushi we sometimes get a takeaway for a special occasion this year. Keep discovering new adventures and keep smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Charlotte,
    Yes, it is amazing how food has become so multi national.
    Meeting Annette was a most fortuitous event. It puts a smile on my whole life now.


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