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Already December again!  The “snow” is floating across my blog again.  How quickly the weeks go by and suddenly the year is coming to an end.  While it’s not time to do a year-end reflection yet, from time to time, I do think about the friends that I miss working with.

There are a few work friends that I “grew up” with.  We worked closely dealing with day-to-day tasks as well as unexpected issues.  Although we were usually on the same wavelength, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things.  And that’s where the awesomeness of working with them became apparent.  We had open and non-judgmental discussions which often resolved the differences with one convincing the other(s).  The odd times that we were adamant about our respective positions, we agreed to disagree.  The final say fell to the person who would have to carry out the decision.  The other person(s) would respect and support the final decision.  That is what I consider great teamwork.  I miss those work buddies.

While working on the project, it was easy to drop by and visit them.  The project office was in the same building and we even arranged to go for lunch a couple of times.  Now that I am in Richmond (albeit temporarily), meeting for lunch is far more difficult.  Not impossible though!

A few months ago, I was downtown teaching for a couple of days.  I met up with my beloved project team for lunch at Pacifico on the first day of teaching and then made plans with these friends the next day.  I let them choose the restaurant and they picked Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro.

When it first opened, Shuraku was a regular lunch restaurant for me.  At that time, they had some good lunch specials.  Depending on the day of week, the special was a different item.  Not sure why but suddenly one day, they didn’t offer lunch specials… only a regular menu with a few bento box options.  I am not a fan of raw fish and that left only one lunch box to order.  I started to go to other restaurants and soon enough it was months between visits.

Somewhere along the way, the lunch specials came back again with many more daily options.  The specials were good and there were quite a few that I liked.  It was much nicer knowing I had multiple options and not just Lunch Box C.  Don’t get me wrong, Lunch Box C was very reliable and I enjoyed it … just not every day or every week.  So of course, what did I order that day….?

Lunch Box C - miso soup

Lunch Box C – miso soup

Lunch Box C - salad, tempura, chicken teriyaki served with rice.

Lunch Box C – salad, tempura, chicken teriyaki served with rice.

Yes, you guessed correctly — Lunch Box C!  I like the variety that comes in the the Lunch Box C — a bit of saucy chicken, some tempura, a touch of salad and some soup.  I noticed that the portions are smaller than it used to be.  The piece of teriyaki chicken seems tinier and I seem to think something is missing… bean sprouts…?    Not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me but I think the box tray also shrunk down a couple of sizes.

My friends ordered a variety of other items:  Chicken Karaage Nanban Set, Curry with Tonkatsu and Curry with Chicken Karaage.

Chicken Karaage Nanban Set

Chicken Karaage Nanban Set

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Except… I can’t remember which one had the tonkatsu and which one had the chicken karaage.  I’ve tried these other items over the span of my years of visits.  I like the Chicken Karaage Nanban because of the sauce.  It has a very capturing taste to it and makes chicken appetizing.  However, I’m usually drawn in by either the Lunch Box C or the Curry with Chicken Karaage.   I almost ordered the curry with chicken karaage — which is another one of my favourites.  I felt like something a little different and not as filling as the big stone bowl of rice so I opted for Box C instead.

I’ve had dinner at Shuraku once.  It was a couple of years ago.  It was all a la carte and I found the menu a little on the pricey side.  I probably would have been better off not knowing that they have lunch special prices because then it felt like anything I ordered was expensive.  I can’t find photos from that dinner but the food served at dinner was more artistic and dainty.

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