Last year, for my 40th birthday, the hubs and I went to Hong Kong for a week but we got a little crazy and stopped in Tokyo for 24 hours on the way. We read about this famous, Michelin star sushi restaurant called Sushi Dai in the Tsukiji Fish Market so we decided to check it out. Unfortunately, we stopped for Ramen first and ended up at the back of the line for Sushi Dai.

So, we waited, and waited, and waited for over two hours and finally had to give up and head to the airport for our flight to Hong Kong. Luckily, we met these cool guys (Sam and Luke) in line and they promised to give us the rundown on the food. So, here’s a taste of what we missed at Sushi Dai!

sam ooms

The boys settle in for a treat after waiting in line for hours. Recently, a friend of ours waited for 4 hours to get in but he, also, said it was worth the wait!

Sam’s description of the food:
  • The Aji (horse mackerel) was profound with a huge chunk of ginger and some spring onions.
  • The Flounder was prepared with a little bit of sea salt and lemon juice instead of soy so it had a very fresh taste despite the creamy texture.
  • The best one by far was the Yellowtail. Never had yellowtail this good before, the taste was insanely rich and really complimented the vinegary rice.
  • The Uni did not have the signature bitter aftertaste, it was just the taste of the ocean and the ultra soft texture fighting with the crispy nori that it was wrapped in. Amazing! They actually marinated the Ikura eggs in soy for a few minutes so it was a ready-to-eat gunkan.
  • Not one of the pieces of nigiri required extra soy or any additional ingredients. It was perfectly done. However, for my taste, the rice was a little too tough but I quickly forgot about that thanks to the amazing vinegar they used.
  • Also, the Clam was still moving on the sushi, it was pretty cool to see although it wrecked a clump of the rice below!
Final Thoughts:

Sam, thoroughly, enjoyed Sushi Dai and had this to say, “We’re spoiled for having Michelin sushi here in Amsterdam, so I’ve had sushi this good before. But the pacing of the meal and the mouthwatering anticipation was something really cool.”

A HUGE thank you to Sam & Luke for providing us with a look inside Tokyo’s famous Sushi Dai restaurant. I can’t wait to go back just to eat there and I’m looking forward to catching up with Sam in Amsterdam so he can take me out for sushi. Thanks again!

Have you been to Sushi Dai? How long did you wait? Do you have another favorite sushi spot in Tokyo? Tell me about it in the comments!
sushi dai

On the island tour, we hit all the major tourist spots like Hin Yai & Hin Ta (Grandmother and Grandfather Rock), Wat Khunaram (Mummified Monk), Pagoda Khao Hua Jook, Wat Plai Laem, and Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai).

We also stopped for street ice cream sundaes served in hot dog buns.  Yep, I said hot dog buns!  During the tour, our guide doubled as our own personal (awesome) photographer taking stunning shot after shot – mostly with one hand as the other was busy holding his cigarette.  If you’re ever in Koh Samui, take this tour, it’s worth every penny!

Our next excursion was the much anticipated elephant ride.  I know people have mixed feelings about doing this but we did it and it was pretty awesome!  We booked the Safari Park tour so we could ride the elephants, visit a popular waterfall and see a few other sights/animals.  I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about getting on an elephant and even more nervous after the driver got off and started taking pictures for us with our camera.  It seems like everyone in Thailand is a professional photographer!

I wasn’t really impressed with the rest of the park including the waterfall and the route you had to take to get there.  Can you say, dangerous?

On New Year’s Eve, we spent the morning hanging out in our cabana, playing Connect Four and chatting with our favorite waitress, May.

She was the absolute best during our stay and I hope to see her again when we return.  May heard us talking about lanterns and she mentioned that she would try to find some for us.  If you’ve never seen the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai (Festival of Light) I urge you to visit this site or search google images for “yi peng lantern festival.”  This has been a dream of mine since I first heard of it many years ago.  Even though we weren’t participating in the real Yi Peng Festival, I knew that many people would light lanterns at midnight on New Year’s Eve and I wanted in.

Later that evening, after getting ready for the big NYE party, we arrived back at our cabana to find our lanterns!  I was ready to light that sucker immediately but it wasn’t time.  So, we ate the delicious hors d’oeuvres passed around by cute Thai waiters and waitresses, we drank glass after glass of free champagne then we enjoyed a beautiful, formal sit-down dinner by the pool.  After dinner the band started to play and everyone hit the dance floor.  Some time later the fire dancers entered the picture and dazzled us with their skillz!

At midnight, the fireworks show began and we were also able to see many other fireworks displays farther down along the beach.  After the fireworks, most of the guests ran to get their lanterns as we were told it was time.  Anthony and I and this other couple we made friends with went down to light our and they got a hilarious video of us trying to light ours.  I mean, those things are not easy to light.  You have to practically set yourself on fire before you can even let it go.  I’m debating whether or not I should post it, I don’t come across so cute and cuddly on this one, lol!

Watching the lanterns take off into the sky filled with other lanterns was so incredibly awesome.  It wasn’t to the extent of the lantern festival but you could see thousands of lanterns in the sky and it was magical!  I’m still planning to attend the real festival in Chiang Mai one day.

Thailand was just as incredible as I thought it would be.  The people are so genuinely nice, the islands are stunning and the exchange rate ain’t bad either!  If I could go back to Thailand every year I would in a heartbeat.

Soon, I’ll share my story on Bangkok and I hope you’ll come back to read it!

As you can see, I’ve been away from my blog for a little while and that’s mostly because I’ve made some major changes in my life and career.  Most of you know that I’m a flight attendant but I recently changed companies and I’m now working for mainline instead of a regional airline.  This change took me away from home, my husband and my dog for weeks on end but I could not be happier with the change.   However, if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that it’s taking a little while to get used to because I’m commuting between Los Angeles and my new work base.  So, I feel like I’m always on the go and that led to me getting sick with the flu and not being able to shake it for a few weeks. I’m still feeling a bit sick but I’m trying to make the most of it and get some writing done in my down time.  Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who is super supportive and he’s all for me following my dream and looking at the bigger picture.

I’m still getting used to the new job and living the life of a commuter but things are starting to calm down and I can finally start thinking about my next big adventure.  My poor hubby has been working like crazy on his latest project and he’s itching for a holiday as well.

Some of the places we’ve thrown around are Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas, Aruba, and Thailand (top of our list but there’s no way I’ll have that much time off as it takes a full day to get there and back – not to mention the two weeks we’d like to stay!).  We’ve also talked about taking a 5-7 day Mexican Riviera cruise out of Los Angeles.  It’s hard to choose just one because we’d like to just run away for a month and do nothing but rest and relax and any of these destinations would fit that bill.

As we plan, I have a feeling we’ll be more budget minded on this trip so we can take multiple trips this year.  I love traveling the world but I also like being debt free and you really can’t do both if you don’t plan, save and keep an eye on your budget… and stick to it.  We could  spend thousands on this week-long vacation or we could find an affordable option that allows us to pay it off not long after we return thus freeing up money for our next trip later this summer (and if I have my way, another trip late fall).

Once we decide where we’re going I promise to tell you all about it!  In the meantime, I still have tons of stories to tell you about the trips we took last year including Italy Part III: Rome, Thailand (Bangkok & Koh Samui) and China. Please stay tuned for more Travel with Mia.

Where do you think we should go for our next adventure?  Are you planning any big trips this year?  I’d love to hear your travel plans, suggestions for my travel plans and/or details on your favorite destinations.  Leave your comments below!