In 2004, March was similarly radiant. Alison sang scales as she hunted for a cardigan in her suitcase; her mezzo filled the courtyard. We had spent the morning planting herbs on my kitchen windowsill.
Come lunchtime, a whim took us down Lychener Straße, where I once had lived.
Sasaya's cool aqua cushions and golden wood stopped us in our tracks. Save for one couple, the place was empty. We began with maki, dabbled in some small seaweed and pickled dishes, then finished with capacious bowls of udon soup. Until then, I had trekked through Mauerpark in the dark for a sushi fix on Oderberger Straße. I must have returned weekly in the coming months.
Now the unpretentious and reliable Yoshioka is closer to home. But a decade later, there are few other places I'd rather be on a Sunday at noon. Sometimes it's the fatty sateity of a butadon. Sometimes, it's the purity of one unagi maki and a bowl of miso soup. And other Sundays edge towards the opulence of that first, yellowtail sashimi following grilled mussels following a wakame tangle, with sips of roasted rice tea from the shiny graphite cups the chef throws on his days off, basking in the combination of reflected sunshine and the French Suites.