In place of the casual international meet up over the tea happening in Pune, I decided to host a new year Indian curry meet in Fukuoka on 6th January 2019, at the town's new and only West Bengali restaurant Indian Spice Factory.
Kolkata's "Aajisai" Owner Opened One-And-Only Bengali Restaurant in Fukuoka - 06 Dec 2018
The place was freshly opened in December last year by the family who runs Kolkata's trending Japanese restaurant "Aajisai," yet is already very popular among locals.
When I visited here last month, I almost made up my mind of hosting the tea party Fukuoka version by looking at their ample space.
Unfortunately, I completely messed it up as I miscalculated or misjudged the figures. According to Facebook counts, 13 people signed up for the event, and some of them informed me they would bring a couple of friends along. It was my stupid idea that said some of them might not show up, according to my usual experience in Pune. So, I informed Nakayama-san there would be around 14-15 people, which is the minimum number to book an entire table (or cubicle.)
However, to my pleasant surprise, all of them including all their friends showed up on the day, which turned out to be 19, due to which I caused a great inconvenience to all the participants, Nakayama-san, and chefs! Ughhhhhh...
Now, let me recount every person I met on that day.
N-san, who all the time responded the event post since the day I had announced, and always encouraged me. M-san, who coincidentally met me at the restaurant that day and spent good time with me while waiting for the guests. R-san and T-san, who talked to the multinational guests in English without hesitation and cheered up the atmosphere.
Y-san, who brought two friends of her and helped me swiftly summarising people's orders. M-san, who literally ran into the restaurant and yet tactically helped me for calculating the bill. J-san, who dared to join us in spite of her difficult dental condition.
V-san, the student from Imphal, who brought his Sri Lankan friend to add a great deal of international atmosphere to the party (and the Sri Lankan student became very popular among us because of his attractive nature.) K-chan, my high school alumnus, who is the member of our "gangs questing for multinational cuisines in Fukuoka" brought her friend and warmed up the air. A-san and M-san, who had expressed their participants since the beginning yet could not find a space at the main table due to overcrowding, still stayed and enjoyed at the separate table and sometimes gave me cheering.
Y-san, who told me the story of Pune 30 years ago. Siddharth and my mother who enjoyed the venue among their strangers. I thank all of you who participated in the meetup.
Lastly but most importantly, I love their lunch thali as well; I ordered their non-veg thali that day and savoured their five-star class chicken, fish, dal, tandoori roti (yes, genuine one,) and basmati rice below amazingly competitive price of 1,500 yen (plus Nakayama-san added samosa and Lebu Cha as special service.) I am grateful to their big heart.
The purpose of the tea party in Pune is to bring people from different nationalities, generations, and backgrounds together, and to connect them each other so that everyone can talk freely regardless to their position or status. I want to host it as regularly as possible, by at least once in three months. Likewise, I am willing to do the similar concept of meet up in Fukuoka whenever I am in town. Fingers crossed!
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