The Deal Breakers
If you are like me, who have been dating for the majority of your life, hopefully by now you would’ve figured out what the qualities are you want in a man. For me, there’s the essential characteristics like honesty, kindness, compassion and empathy. There is also the nice-to-haves, such as sense of adventure, playfulness, career-focused. But then there’s also the inevitable deal breakers.
A week ago I went out on a date with Mr. Redfern. He lives in the neighbourhood, has a stable job and is a home owner, so good on paper. However, I had a small hesitation about him on our first date – he didn’t know what polenta was. I was quite surprised that he had never heard of polenta but then again, maybe I do have an unusually wide food repertoire. “Stop being a snob”, I thought to myself. So I continued on with the date and he must’ve picked up that I am very fond of Japanese food as he showed me a picture of okonomiyaki. If you haven’t had or heard of it, it basically is a Japanese cabbage pancake,drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, bonita fish flakes and nori flakes. I love okonomiyakis and they fondly reminds me of Osaka. While this okonomiyaki in the photo was shaped into a long rectangular block on a stick, probably deep fried and certainly didn’t look very appetising, he promised that it was the best he had ever had. I was a little sceptical but very quick to remind myself about the “open mind” motto.
After the hype about okonomiyaki, it was only fair that we put it to the test. So second date on Tuesday night, we sipped sake while patiently waited for the okonomiyakis to arrive at the table. And when they did, it was a let down – no sauce, no bonito flakes, no nori flakes, no nothing… Just deep fried pieces of cabbage & batter on a stick. It tasted nothing like the real deal. But I know that I should act graciously and not dwell on it, so conversation very quickly moved on to coffee. Mr Redfern then very proudly told me that his favourite coffee was Gloria Jeans. I wasn’t expecting this declaration and nearly fell off the chair. Then when I regained my balance, I then accidentally let out this howl that sounded like “Why? Why oh why??!!” He was quick to explain that it was the only place where they make their coffee hot enough etc. But at that point, I knew that he had landed himself on a deal breaker. And I am not even going to waste my time elaborating the importance of the temperature to coffee, the shiteness of Gloria Jeans coffee and its association with an evangelical church organisation that actively opposes my lifestyle.
After the date though, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would tolerate his fondness for Gloria Jeans coffee, had he knew what polenta was and thought the idea of serving deep fried okonomiyaki on a stick sans sauce and toppings is an abomination… Deal breakers, are they the convenient excuses to reject someone’s affections because all others will make you seem shallow? Or are they genuinely against your core values? As I ponder this questions on Thursday night, I treated myself to some homemade okonomiyakis that are exactly how they should be. So readers, what are your deal breaker? Leave them in the comment box below!
Recipes as follow:
Premixed Okonomiyaki flour 200g
Dashi stock – 250ml
4 slices of bacon
finely sliced cabbage 250g
Dried shrimps (option) a handful
First of all, combine mix flour, egg and cold stock and let the batter rest of at least 1 hour in the fridge. Then finely dice cabbage and mushrooms and set them aside. Combine the rested batter with cabbage and pour 2 ladles into a heated frying pan coated with cooking oil. Top the batter with 1 strip of bacon and mushrooms. You will know it’s time to flip it when the air bubbles star to appear. Flip it so the bacon side cooks, for another 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Remove the pancake from the frying pan, drizzle on okonomiyaki sauce in square blocks then repeat with Jap mayo. Lastly sprinkle on the nori and bonito flakes. Then voila, there you have yourself a little authentic taste of Osaka!