Sunday, November 14, 2010
Japanese Festival at Porter Exchange
My favorite of the Porter Exchange eateries is Tampopo (literally translated as "dandelion"), which only has four small tables and a short counter. It is inexpensive and the varied food, from tempura to kara-age, from maki to soboro bowls, is very tasty. Before attending the rest of the festival, I stopped at Tampopo for some lunch, fortunately getting there before it got too crowded. With such limited seating, there is often a line at prime dining times. I savored some shrimp shumai, miso soup, and spicy chicken kara-age, a few of my usual choices. The restaurant is consistently good, and nearly everything costs less than $10.
I also stopped by the Japonaise Bakery, to pick up a few of their alluring baked goods, including shoku pan, a thick white bread which is perfect for French toast or grilled cheese, and blueberry scones. In addition, I enjoy others of their pastries and baked goods, including their sugar donuts, croissants, and sticky buns.
Sumie Kaneko and Michiko Kurata. Sumie played a Koto (pictured above) and Shamisen. This is a dragon koto, a member of the zither family, and Sumie began learning how to play it when she was only five years old. The shamisen is placed into the lute family and resembles a banjo in some respects. Sumie played a few songs, even singing at times, while Michiko danced a couple times, once a more formal and slow dance while the other being a more joyous and active dance. Both women were very talented and the performances were quite compelling. I have a couple videos but have been unable to upload them yet here. I will add them when I find a way to do so. Later performances during the day included Aikido, Origami and Wadaiko (Japanese Drum).