We celebrated Ritsukos birthday last week. And as usual for our birthdays, we went for dinner somewhere we would not normally go.
This year we went to Kobe. A quick lunch at a German hot-dog place (Kobe is good for non-Japanese food), a walk around town for a few hours, then a beer at Ebisu Bar right by Sannomiya station. It's a European-style pub where you can sit for an hour or two over a beer and talk. It's exactly the kind of place I often used to visit when in Sweden, and that I sort of miss here. They have some good dark beers on tap too, which is not something we're spoiled with here.
Dinner was at Ito Grill, by Nankinmachi in Kobe. As the name implies it's a steak and grill restaurant, vaguely French or western European in style. We had a terrine; soup; an excellent fried flatfish with mashed potatoes, vegetables and balsamico sauce; their signature beef stew; and dessert. It was all very good, if somewhat light on seasoning in my view (I'm a little too fond of salt for my own good). We had a good view of the charcoal roast oven, and while the stew was really, really good the steaks in that oven made our mouths water just looking at them. Perhaps we'll go again some day, just to try the steak.
Ritsuko got a new camera as her old one died late last year, a Panasonic GF2. I'm pretty impressed by it; a major step up from a small-sensor camera in quality, while remaining small and compact. Anyway, it meant we only had that camera with us, so I don't have any shots of my own from the dinner.