Birthday Eats

March 15th, 2018

I’m sure this doesn’t surprise anyone, but my ideal way of celebrating my birthday is with food… lots and lots of food. And I got my wish!

Even though my birthday was on Tuesday (13th), my husband and I started celebrating earlier because one of the restaurants I wanted to go to is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Sunday, we headed to Kemuri Tatsu-ya, an izakaya-style restaurant where most of the menu are small dishes to be shared.

It’s funny because when I was younger, my birthday always fell on Spring Break, and friends would often be out of town, making it hard to celebrate. Now I’m not in school anymore, but my birthday falls on SXSW, a super popular festival that takes place throughout town. It’s fun for out-of-towners, but inconvenient for locals as we struggled through traffic and closed highway exits to make our way to the restaurant. My birthday is never at a convenient time!

We’ve been to Kemuri before, so we pretty much knew what we wanted to order already. We started with small starters like street corn and kushiyaki (skewered, grilled food), and we also got the BBQ boat which comes with 3 meats. It changes each time, and this time it came with brisket, unagi (eel), and duck – all of which were amazingly tender and delicious. Then we ended with BBQ tsukemen, which is a dipping ramen with a smoked brisket broth. We left feeling full and happy!

Grilled street corn

Scallop and beef tongue kushiyaki

BBQ boat with brisket, unagi, and duck

BBQ Tsukemen

On my actual birthday, I had a bunch of coworkers wish me a happy birthday. I’m so used to people coming to me for help or when something is broken, that I must have come off really rude:

“Hey Cat”
“What’s up? Is something broken?”
“Oh, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday.”

haha, oops. A few people on my team were really sweet and got me birthday treats too! One baked me some cinnamon twists and a couple others ordered cookies for me!

After work, my husband and I went for birthday ramen, round 2. We went to my favorite ramen restaurant, Ramen Tatsu-ya. (Yes, they both have Tatsu-ya in the name because Kemuri and Ramen Tatsu-ya are owned by the same people.) It’s not uncommon for there to be a line out the door, and with SXSW, I was especially afraid of that. Fortunately, we went early enough to have no line, and shortly after we ordered, the line started forming, and it was out the door by the time we left. Perfect timing on our part!

I apparently didn’t get enough tsukemen, and I ordered it again. This one has a different broth, so it was like having a different ramen. The tsukemen here is one of my absolute favorites!

And the birthday feast didn’t end there because my parents wanted to treat me to dinner the day after. I was really craving pasta, so I chose Andiamo, an Italian restaurant. It’s next to one of my favorite pho places, and I’ve been meaning to try it out for dinner. I was in the mood for a simple, meaty pasta dish, so I ordered the Rigatoni al Ragu.

At the end of all of that, I was so stuffed, but that’s ok because it was good food all around! It’s always fun to treat yourself once in a while, but now I need to get back to eating healthier!

13 Responses to “Birthday Eats”

  • Shanae says:

    SXSW in Austin I take it? I hate when we have things like that around here, because it just crowds everything. I’m glad for the opportunity to attend events like that without having to pay a hotel room fee, but still.

    Also, happy birthday and that food looks AMAZING!!

  • Becca says:

    Happy belated birthday, Cat!

    Haha, my favorite way to celebrate pretty much anything is with food. Last year we did a big BBQ with friends and made a ton of food and it was a blast!

    Corn isn’t my favorite, but that street corn looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never seen it served with so many toppings before! That was super sweet of your coworkers to surprise you with treats, too! It makes you feel appreciated :) It sounds like you had a great birthday!

  • Nancy says:

    Happy belated birthday, Cat! Hehe, the best way to celebrate birthday is with food! Love how you’re all about it (can totally relate)! Even though there was so much traffic, at least you made it to the restaurant in one piece!

    Ooooh, I love grilled food on skewers! Makes the experience exciting and you can try out all of the delicious foods! Beef tongue and scallops are so delish! Mmm, making me hungry, haha.

    Your team is so sweet for bringing you treats for your birthday! Love how you find all of the best ramen places! Glad you enjoyed the celebrations! A cheat meal for this occasion is 100% ok :)

  • Tabby says:

    Belated many happy returns, it sounds and looks like you had some wonderful celebrations. You’ve got my mouth watering and the picture of your Italian meal has me thinking of making spaghetti bolognese for dinner tonight, so thank you! :)

  • Pauline says:

    Happy belated birthday Cat! It looks like you celebrated with style – lots and lots of yummy food!! That meaty pasta dish has my full attention ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜†

    I’m exactly the same with my birthday. My birthday falls in the summer vacation (just at the start when everyone’s going back home or flying out to places) ๐Ÿ˜‚ But we make do with what we have! ;)

  • Kayla says:

    Happy birthday!! Food is DEFINITELY the best thing about birthdays, I’m glad you had such a good few days. Also, totally know what you mean about SXSW – we have a musical festival in my town which is nowhere near as big as SXSW but it’s literally right behind my house, I share a fence with it, and my street gets blocked off every year, there’s teenagers and 20-somethings running around half naked and drunk everywhere, and the music is SO LOUD when I’m trying to go to sleep. So I totally sympathise with you on that one!

  • Euri says:

    Belated happy birthday, Cat! :D

    Fod loooks yummy! Especially the BBQ Tsukemen! :D

  • Claudine says:

    Happy birthday Cat! :) I’m not too big on parties during my birthday, but I do LOVE great food so I totally get you! Eating is the best way to celebrate! :P And boy, looks like you had an awesome celebration. The food looks amazing!

    I cracked up when I got to that part when you asked whether something was broken, only for your co-worker to correct you and wish you a happy birthday! Lol that must have been a little awkward but if I were you, I feel like I would’ve said the same thing HAHA!

  • Michelle says:

    Happy belated birthday! And that looks so yummy! ^^ I always celebrate it with food and gifts.

  • Liv says:

    Happy belated birthday Cat! I feel you about having a birthday over a school break – I celebrated my birthday for the first time when I turned 23 and it was because I had finally made local friends who didn’t go away for the summer! :P This post looks super yummy and the tsukemen looks especially good. I always have 5 meals on my birthday so I don’t blame you! XD

  • Ongaku says:

    Okay, now I’m just hungry… orz I’m glad you got the birthday you wanted, with lots of yummy food!
    Hahah I understand about the co-worker thing. I never expect people to come to my desk and not be wanting something from me. XD

  • Georgie says:

    Happy belated birthday Cat! ๐Ÿ˜„ Sounds like you got spoiled good, even though when you were younger your birthday was always at a bit of an inconvenient time.

    I looooove tsukemen. Unfortunately a lot of ramen places in Sydney donโ€™t do it! Just one that I know of. I like it a lot. I first had it in Tokyo and was just… obsessed. I donโ€™t know what it is about the dipping experience but itโ€™s just so enjoyable. I feel like it might have something to do with the fact that I really liked having clear soup/broth alongside my noodles as a kid, and sometimes I would dip the noodles in the soup as I ate, or put tiny spoonfuls of soup in the noodles. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    You probably didnโ€™t come off as rude to your coworkers, hopefully they just thought you had a sense of humour LOL ๐Ÿ˜

    Iโ€™m going out with a friend for dinner tomorrow and I think weโ€™re gonna go to a place with kushiyaki. So excited about it now that your post reminded me ๐Ÿคค

  • Tara says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Cat!!!

    Dude, good food for birthday are always the best. Give me my favourite dishes with some chocolate and whatnot, and I’ll be a happy Tara on her birthday, haha!

    The food at Kemuri looks so delicious! And all those birthday treats you got from your teammates? Yuuuummmm. Ramen is always good. The one you got Ramen Tatsu-ya looks super delicious! That pasta, too . . . *drools*

    Huzzah for all these great eats! :3

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