Chris P. and I enjoyed one of the highlights of our year on Friday when we were invited to Mumbai's Christmas party at the Marunouchi branch. On the agenda was a curry tabehodai, which included some fantastic dishes (Mumbai's always hit the spot), wonderful samosas, a range of Indian pickles, and an abundance of finger-picking goodies, and we indulged ourselves to bursting point (can't remember how many times we went back to fill our plates). We might have overdone it if we hadn't been swept up in the evening's entertainment, which found us dancing and singing with a group of new friends, all caught up in the spirit of the night, which, in turn, helped to burn off a few of the calories acquired in the irresistible draw of the buffet.
Chris was brought up to do a tequila drinking demonstration – he executed it like a pro – and after several shots, a few people got to their feet, performing some random but well-coordinated Bollywood dancing. We were also treated to a paratha preparing demonstration by one of the expert chefs there, who spun and slapped with such ease he could easily ply his trade in any well respected, dough-tossing pizza kitchen. Then, with the off-the-menu delights of paratha and basmati rice, Chris and I turned host and introduced a few of the guests to these essential Indian culinary joys. By people's reactions, it seemed only a few had tried either before, but looked like they will definitely be going back for more in the future.
The night finished, after our fill of merriment, with all the guests and staff in a circle singing a chorus of “We Are The World”, which was a poignant end to a year that has demanded a fair share of self-reflection. The best thing about all this, apart from the bringing together of people from all over by our wonderful host Popi Kuroda, was that we can have a Christmas party in an Indian restaurant in the middle of Tokyo, with all the joy in the right place – in our bellies and in our hearts. There will be more events like these coming up in the new year. We hope to enjoy these great times with more like-minded people, sharing the passion of Indian cuisine with our spirits high, basmati on our plates, and spice lifting us off our seats.