I'm in a planning mood. I want to plan what to wear tomorrow; I want to plan the week's activities; I want to plan what to bake for work next week; I want to plan events for next month; I want to plan holidays for sometime this year; I want to plan my finances for the coming year. This planning frenzy only hits about once a quarter, and admittedly I don't always make anything of it.
But when the unplanned moments come along - as they inevitably do - it's always good to have a ready and flexible state of mind to deal with whatever's thrown your way. Back-up plans work too, if you're the type to be so organised as to have any.
Friday night, 7.30pm, no booking - what do we do? Hello Chinatown. We steer clear away from the long, snaking queue at Mamak and go the "about 10 minutes" wait outside the miniscule Kura. The wait is never too long as the squishy interior and hungry onlookers aren't really conducive to the post-meal sit-and-linger.
Having picked from the menu and ordered while waiting outdoors, food was delivered promptly to the small table. There are plenty of flavour-full savoury and deep-fried options, but I was leaning towards healthy and light this occasion.
The sushi and sashimi combination looks like it could be made of plastic, so aethetically perfect looked the colours, textures and plating. Luckily for me, they weren't. Near unrealistically bright and synthetic, the long, rectangular plate holds six nigiri pieces along a variety of sashimi propped up on a radish salad garnish.
In the sashimi corner, we have thick chunks of glistening salmon - my perennial favourite, needing nothing but soy sauce. There's also the always chewy (to me) slice of giant octopus, butterflied prawn which I always find characterless, soft pink tuna slices, seasoned seaweed and raw squid with another favourite of flying fish roe atop. Overall, I appreciate the freshness of the seafood despite the ordinary collection.
With the nigiri sushi, on first glance I know there will be the inevitable fight over the hotate nigiri, the raw scallop sushi. It's hard to beat the sweet juiciness of a scallop with a swipe of the lemon slice; any time, any meal.
I give up the octopus, not being a fan of the chew, but I claim the salmon nigiri and the still-odd seeming surf clam - tasty and chewy like the cephalods, but not in quite the same way. The seemingly same-at-all-outlets eel is traded for the tuna nigiri, as I don't like the occasional skin and fat of the eel, but will happily eat all the raw tuna you put in front of me.
As for the warm dishes, some people struggle to go past soft shell crab in any and every restaurant. While the batter is a little thick, I like the generous serving and especially the tempura dipping sauce, while the mayonnaise-dressed cabbage salad provides the requisite vegetable nutrients and refuge away from the oil and shell.
The child in me can't go past the taikyo offer on the menu - they're fish-shaped desserts, and delightful. A pancake-like dough, filled with a sweet red bean mix, pressed into a koi or large goldfish, ready for your immediate (cooked) consumption. I'd recommend eating these babies fresh, as my slightly-cooled takeaway version had a touch of chewiness to them.
So, I think it's the cream top with the black pants tomorrow; a couple of Sydney Film Festival movies this week; perhaps white chocolate and cranberry cookies next week; Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Malaysia, Vietnam; a managed fund or two; and a revisit to Kura next time I don't have plans.