Saturday, January 30, 2016

Furusato: Restaurant Review

A little overdue, but I'm finally getting around to doing my review of Furusato, for a visit from November last year. (Thanks Amber for the nudge!) Furusato is a Japanese restaurant that's been around for a few years as far as I can remember.


On this fine Friday, I'd just finished up a training session at the UN, and was in the mood for some solo gallivanting. It'd been a few years since I'd gone to Furusato last, so I thought that would be a good starting point.

Side note: Going to restaurants alone is a perfectly fun activity, but I'm beginning to realise it's not as common in Kenya...

On this fine Friday, I show up to Furusato at around 12:50. A little early for lunch, so it's understandable why the restaurant wasn't as busy as it usually is. The look of confusion on the waiter's face when I asked for a table for one made me chuckle a little on the inside.



I ordered a lunch box, and this came with a salad. Now, I'm not much of a salad person, but this one? It was DIVINE! The dressing was amazing- flavourful without being overpowering. I think it was some sort of peanut ginger dressing? Honestly, it was so good I could've drank it. Not saying I didn't... The salad had lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, red cabbage, capsicum, cucumbers, and maybe a teensy bit of onion. Not sure about the last part, for which I'm glad; to say I'm not the biggest fan of raw onions would be an understatement.



When I ordered the lunch box, I was expecting what any lunch box in the U.S. would have. So when I realised that the one here came with so much more, I was pleasantly surprised, and actually had to customise my order. My box came with tempura, a tuna pancake, sashimi, tofu, teriyaki chicken, fish, and rice. I opted to replace the sashimi with California roll, and the fish with more chicken (no surprises here). The box came with seaweed soup too, and this served as a nice palate cleanser between all the different flavours.


First of all, the tempura was great. It was light and obviously fresh, and I was pleased that they didn't skimp on ingredients and included prawns too. The tuna pancake was probably my biggest surprise. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of tuna, much to the dismay of my awesome brother-in-law who makes great tuna sandwiches that I've never been able to enjoy. Something about the overly, um, fishy taste just gets to me. However, this tuna pancake obviously did SOMETHING right. I finished the whole thing! Not saying there wasn't copious amounts of soy sauce involved- there always is when I'm having Japanese- but still.

The California roll was good too, nothing out of the ordinary, but I liked it. I loved the teriyaki chicken, but then again, I always do. My least favourite part of the lunch box was the tofu. I have NO idea what went wrong here, but it felt like I was chewing on a limp, tasteless piece of tissue paper the consistency of cottage cheese. *Shudders* Sorry guys. Maybe that's your cuppa tea, but not for me.



All in all, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, despite the tofu disaster. I wasn't able to finish it all, but I think I did a pretty good job.

The only dessert on the menu was ice cream, which I suppose was a good thing after such a heavy meal. I went for the strawberry (never the chocolate, right?), and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the restaurant didn't charge me for it.

Overall:

Ambience: I like it.

Parking: Plenty.

Food: Definitely recommend you try it. But stay away from the tofu.

Drinks: I ordered a ginger ale, so that's a 10/10 right there.

Service: Fast and friendly, although I was a little surprised that the waiter came to pick up my tip before I had gotten up.

Price: Pretty good, about 1500 for the whole thing.

Restrooms: Unfortunately, forgot to check them out.


So, what do you all think? Will you be visiting any time soon? 







Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016: Aim Higher

I'm not usually one to broadcast my goals to a large audience, but in line with a post I wrote last year, I thought sharing a few of them would be a fun way to hold myself accountable- and to keep up with others who have similar aspirations. I avoid calling these 'resolutions': I've found that thinking of them as 'intentions' works better for me.



While I won't be sharing all of them (in fact, I think only one person knows them all), and while these are not all really 2016 specific, I thought it was about time to go ahead and get this up.

1) Health: Building up from 2015 being the first year in a long time that I've had a regular fitness routine, I wanted to take things a step further this year. I finally started Insanity (and I now understand why they call it that...), and by the end of 2016, I hope to have run my first half-marathon! I think that shifting away from tracking my fitness as my physical appearance to measuring my health and endurance has been quite motivational for me.

2) Comfort Zone: I think this is a big one, especially since I've tended to stick to mine since I moved to Nairobi. I'm working on moving beyond this, and this involves many things: going to events I would normally turn down or where I wouldn't know many people, participating in activities I wouldn't have thought I would (see marathon above), and engaging in little things on a day to day basis that challenge me.

3) Professional Development: Since October, I've been working as a full time independent consultant. I'm hoping to build up enough clientele by the end of the year that I can afford to travel to a new location and work there for a little bit!

4) Reading: I recently started reading nonfiction books more regularly. Honestly, I'll be surprised if I haven't achieved this goal by July even, but I want to read at least 12 good nonfiction books this year. I started off with Thrive by Arianna Huffington (finally), and would welcome your recommendations!

5) Savings: I attended a training hosted by YWSE Nairobi (of which I'm now a board member!) last year, facilitated by my sister, that talked about personal financial management. I've been much better about tracking my expenditures, and hope to have saved up at least 20% of my total 2016 income by the end of December.

6) Writing: Again, this is something that has taken off toward the end of 2015, and now I need to build up on it. By December, I'd like to have at least published 100 more blog posts, and stuck to my Monday, Thursday and Saturday schedule as much as possible. I also want to get more involved in things going on in Kenya, and so I aim to write more about Kenyan events, people and restaurants too. 

7) Personal Growth: I think now is always a good time to improve yourself! To this end, I've signed up for three online courses, and intend to pick up meditation as a regular habit this year. The benefits are numerous and actually measurable, and go way beyond just 'knowing yourself' better! I'm also a great fan of TED talks, and watched many while at Sewanee, but haven't watched as many as I'd like recently. I'd like to watch at least two a month this year!

8) Languages: 2016 is the year that I FINALLY (I hope) become fluent in French! I can read and write it a very basic level, but I think it's time to finish something I started when I was 8.



What are some of the goals you're hoping to achieve this year? Any suggestions for some I should add to my list? Feel free to comment below!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Out of the Box: Women in Tech

Last year, I talked about my own journey of stepping (or breaking) out of the box, so to speak. It definitely hasn't been easy, but I'm grateful for all that I'm learning. Being in a society that may not value creativity as much as I'd like hasn't been very easy, but I'm fortunate enough to have the support of the people around me: family, friends, mentors and even strangers.

However, there are many others who aren't so lucky. There are certain fields which certain types of people are not allowed to break into, certain careers which some people just aren't 'allowed' to do, and countless boundaries that people keep imposing on others.

Just think about the stereotypes we associate with stay-at-home dads. If a woman was to make the choice to put her career on hold to raise children, she would be praised. The same decision, when taken by a man, is often ridiculed. He isn't given support by the people around him, including friends and family. 

A similar struggle is faced by women in tech. Yes, we do hear of rising numbers of women engineers and scientists; but these stories are generally highlighting the outliers, not the norm. 

Ghergich & Co. teamed up with SurePayroll to create a graphic that does a great job of digging into and highlighting this problem, and I wanted to share it with all of you (and hopefully get you to share it too!)

---

The lack of women in what have typically been the male-dominated fields of computer programming and engineering has long been documented. But the statistics about this divide have become more, not less, stark. The percent of women in tech-related fields comes nowhere near to matching the percent of women in the general population—and that takes into account the representation at big-name companies, some of which are known to have more family friendly policies. Isolation can exacerbate the situation, as can the diverse reasons that women with such promise choose to leave tech. The under-representation is repeated at the educational level too, with fewer female students choosing to pursue these promising careers.

                The benefits for education and business of women in tech are many, but the solutions to the problem may be diverse. There are steps that leaders in the industry now can take to ensure there’s change in tech for women, but it will take time and dedication.





Popular Posts