It started out with the intention of being a simple meal for a few strangers, who might eventually become friends. But by the end of the night, Ayumi and her two friends, Naomi and Tat Haur, were enthusiastically swapping numbers with their guests, snapping pictures and making plans to pop by each other's homes in the near future.
Even with the hosts providing the occasional explanation for each dish, it seemed more like a catch-up between old friends than a dinner for people who were meeting for the first time. With the help of Naomi and Tat Haur, Ayumi redefined the meaning of having a hearty meal—using recipes learnt from her grandmother, she cooked up a traditional Japanese feast that included chikuzenni, osuimono and chiraishi sushi.
Ayumi's hard work did not go unnoticed. As one guest put it, "she really cooked the food with all her heart", while another described it as a "labour of love". It was a long time after the last plate was cleared that anyone realised how much time had actually passed—whereupon both guests and hosts began taking their last pictures together.
And in one word, Ayumi triumphantly summed up her night: "Yatta!"