Desperately Seeking Noma Tokyo Dinner Date

MV5BMTIzMzA5NjIzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTA2NTI5._V1_SX640_SY720_‘Desperately seeking’ is actually kind of a stretch (I’m not that desperate) and a play on that good old Madonna movie.  I never really bought into the Rosanna Arquette being Madonna thing, but that is another story…  I am actually here to talk about finding a date for my birthday dinner, so read on.



I have a dinner reservation for Noma Tokyo for my birthday in the last week of January. If you don’t know what Noma is then you are pretty much already excluded from the criteria that I am setting forth for this date, but here is a little background anyway.

Noma, currently voted the world’s best restaurant, will relocate to the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo for six  weeks, offering lunch and dinner 9 January to 14 February.  There have been 60,000 people who have applied for reservations. Note:  A reservation for 2 at Noma Tokyo recently went at auction for $4,500. –

Yes, there were 60,000 people who tried to get this reservation and I am lucky enough to have secured one for two. And, sadly, I don’t have a dining companion. So I decided since I’m single and dateless on what will be my 39th birthday that I would open up the opportunity for someone to take advantage of this crazy, once in a lifetime meal and find myself a date.  Could it be you?

What’s The Deal

You will be my guest for a fabulous dinner at Noma Tokyo in the Mandarin Oriental during the last week in January 2015. This means that I will pay for your dinner and wine pairing.

You cover your airfare to Tokyo and your accommodations whilst there. Roundtrip flights from SFO as of today (Jan 09) are around $1,000.

I have my own flight and accommodations sorted.

If we get along maybe we can hang out in Tokyo a bit, but not a requirement.

About Me


38 (going to be 39 as of meal) / 5’6 / slim shady
Likes to read, watch movies & bad TV, blog, play ukulele, go to theater and lectures, play board games, cook, hang out with bald cats, scuba dive, nerd out on gadgets, travel and eat good food.
twitter: @nerdgirl blog: insta: sneffyrobogeisha (beware: a lot of cat pics) linkedin:

About You

You live in the Bay Area so we can meet up beforehand to see if it is a fit.
You are single. Like properly single. No attachments.
You are a male.
You are between 28-46.
You know how to use a fork and knife properly. Knowledge of Japanese etiquette a big plus.
You have good conversational skills.
You are easy on the eye.
You are able to make that evening & cover your flight / accommodations costs.

How This Works

You fill out the form. I narrow it down to 3 finalists and schedule a meetup – coffee probably – and then I select my date by January 16th 17th .

I will do my best to write back to everyone that responds to let them know one way or the other by Wednesday, Jan 14th Friday, Jan 16th.

Sorry! Due to an overwhelming response, I’ve decided to extend a bit so I can make a decision and look over all the new submissions.

Get those submissions in!

How to Apply

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The more detail you give, the better.  If you don’t include a picture then you won’t be considered.

Will This Be You?

Updates To This Story

Jan 16 update
I’m coordinating coffee with the last few people. I actually decided to go for more than three since the response was so great that it was nearly impossible to select only three. My plan is to consult with friends and family tomorrow morning (Saturday) and make a decision by the evening. Thankfully I checked airfares to Tokyo and they have gone down about $50 from last week, so even though it is last minute it is doable.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is how to do the follow up to this entire story. Everyone is asking me “what’s next”? I really haven’t had a moment to sit down and hash it all out, but I hope to do updates from Tokyo and also a little bit of reflection on this week and this process in general.

Stay tuned!

Jan 13 update
I didn’t think that this was going to go as crazy as it has. I am honestly humbled by this entire experience and I haven’t even gotten to the grand finale! I have extended the deadline so I can accommodate for all the responses that have been pouring in. I will do my best to get through all of them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to respond to all of them by Friday, but I will work on it over the weekend. Everyone has been really great. There are so many awesome guys out there that it is going to be really difficult to pick just one. Thanks everyone for being supportive.

Now – more fun news…

11162913_800I have now, through a wonderful former work colleague, scored a lunch reservation at Jiro’s sushi restaurant. Yes, this Jiro. My date will be invited along to that as well although I’m not going to foot the bill. This is an optional excursion, but one that probably shouldn’t be missed.

There have been other adventures that are being planned for Tokyo that include whiskey drinking, private cooking lessons, snow monkeys (that is out of town) and secret places with the local crew. All optional, but will be pretty great.

FAQ (as they come up)

Why a guy in the Bay Area?  Why not anywhere?

Because I would like a chance to meet the person first and vet them for compatibility.  I am also looking to potentially date someone for longer than just the dinner night.  Even if a total romantic thing doesn’t happen, I thought this would be a good way to meet someone cool and have a great story to tell.

Do I need to like bald cats?

Yes.  OK, not right off the bat, but the idea of not totally hating them needs to be somewhere in his mind.

Will I be humiliated publicly for applying?

No.  I will only share info about the final date if that person agrees to it.

Didn’t I see this somewhere?

Thanks to the awesome folks at The Bold Italic (particularly Tamara Palmer) for being the first to write about my date.  Truly awesome.

There was a great segment with David Begnaud on CBS Morning News hosted by Gayle King and Charlie Rose. Wow! That was crazy! Gayle, please say hi to Oprah!

I was also on the KFOG Morning Show on Tuesday, Jan 13 to talk about the date.

And to all my friends who have shared this. Feels pretty nice to have so many cool people supporting this idea.