THIS IS hard to tell you, Charlie, but I’m leaving General Strategics. And Japan! I’ve learned a lot from you over the years, but it’s time to move on.”
Kumiko’d left a note on my desk before clocking out last night. Her desk was clean as a whistle; must have taken all her little doodads home.
Dadgummit. Best assistant I’ve had in all my years here. Now she’s movin’ on. Always thought Kumiko had a good head on her shoulders. She ain’t gonna work for someone else the rest of her life. Now where’s she going?
Half hour later she walks in, face in a pout.
“Don’t need to say no more,” I told her, “seein’s how you’ve helped me out of logjams from Takadanobaba to Timbucktoo all these years. You’re sure the best assistant this old horse trader could ever hope for.”
“Oh, Charlie…” she said, turning red as a beet.
“Now whatever you got for tonight’s gotta hang fire. We’re gonna have one last dinner. On the company dime, of course.”
Kumiko was heading for Canada. Seems like one of her great aunts had emigrated there as a picture bride, back in the 1920s. Dang near a 100, now, alone in a Vancouver old folks home. Nurses say she only talks Japanese nowadays, don’t hardly speak no English no more. Gone senile, too old to fly back to Japan. Can’t nobody understand her, neither. After a family powwow, Kumiko volunteered to go over and give a hand.
“Besides, I need to do something new in my life,” Kumiko shrugged. “I’ve always loved Canada…”
It being the middle of winter, and Kumiko going to Canada, first thing I could think of was goin’ deer hunting up there years ago. Then that made me think of the wild game Zum Einhorn in Roppongi puts on every winter.
One of the best German places in town, and they got all that rich German beer I like. Plus a whole buncha German wine for Kumiko.
After we showed up that evening, Kumiko let me order the food while she got wine-listed. From the “Winterspezialitaten” menu I ordered Onion Pie South German Style with Salad to split, then for her the Thinly Sliced Venison with Mushrooms and Spatzle, which is a handmade German noodle that tastes like a dumpling. Kumiko got herself some white German wine that weren’t too sweet. For me I got the Roasted Leg of Rabbit with Mustard Sauce and Potato Dumpling.
This was honest hearty food, not a lot of spice. And, the servings weren’t too large, leaving me some belly room for a few of them big bottles of that dark German beer what warms you all up.
Damn fine meal, all them rich, meaty flavors. That strong malty beer. The regular menu’s fine, but you oughta hurry for the winter game, on until the middle of March. CJ sez two thumbs up. I left with a warm feeling, partly because of the food, and partly because it was heart-warming to see Kumiko leave her exciting life in Tokyo to help out her elderly great aunt in Canada.
Roppongi 1st Bldg. B1
Reservations: 03-5563-9387 (phone or fax)
Lunch: 11:30am to 2pm Monday – Friday
Dinner: 5 to 10pm Monday – Saturday
Closed Sundays and national holidays
English/Japanese map at www.zum-einhorn.co.jp/traube/mape.html
Any of the game dishes, they’ll be on the menu for another month thereabouts.
Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock dark beer from a brewery about 1,000 years old. Rare as hen’s teeth, even in Germany.
Dining room’s pretty small, you don’t got much choice.
About ¥6,500 per person should do it; more if you’re eating or drinking big.
People what work for Daimler-Chrysler (Mercedes-Benz) so they know a thing or two
about German food.
Mr. Noda, the chief cook and bottle washer, and owner of this fine establishment. Ask for his advice on beer and food.