June 27, 2008
The restaurant is dark and beautiful with very attentive service from the English-speaking staff. Like other teppanyaki restaurants, guests sit around a bar where the chef grills your food in front of you. However, unlike Americanized Benihana-style teppanyaki, there isn't a cooking "show", so no flaming onion volcanoes or flipping of shrimp heads into the chef's hat (much to the boys' disappointment.)
There were really too many amazing courses to list or show off here, but I'll hit a few of the highlights.
One that we all thought was incredibly delicious and innovative was the sashimi course (below). This lovely box contained (from right to left): caviar, minced chu-toro (fatty tuna), uni (sea urchin), squid (I think), salmon roe, chives, toasted rice balls, nori (seaweed), wasabi sauce (I think), sour cream, and avocado sauce. To eat this, you used the little bamboo paddle and swept across the box, combining bits of the different ingredients and then dipping the mix into the light shoyu sauce. The combination of flavors and textures was insanely great. Even the others who don't normally eat uni and such enjoyed this.
Another great course was this lobster dish. The very sweet tail meat of the Australian lobster was well balanced by the sharp pepper sauce; the cilantro was a nice addition too. This was perfect in its simplicity.
As the chef prepared the star course of the show - the meltingly tender and moaningly delicious Kobe beef for me, great fillet for the others) - we were served little ramekins of mashed potatoes. These already smooth potatoes had a quarter inch of clarified butter on top; we were instructed to mix butter into the potato. The results were almost soup-like; of course, they were rich and scrumptious. The beef, needless to say, was great, served with a choice of sauces, exotic salt, and garam masala - a nice and unusual offering. Kobe beef is the only meal I've ever had where everyone at the table either softly moans or giggles to themselves as they chew. This was no exception. Michael (7) demolished his 50g steak almost instantly.
After dinner, we moved upstairs to this very retro 70's/early 80's lounge for dessert. The centerpiece of the lounge was this incredibly kitschy Dom Perignon stand light with a rotating top. It was kind of fun that they didn't take themselves too seriously. I was too full to eat, so I just had a glass of Suntory Hibiki 17 year Japanese whisky. Lovely stuff.
Obviously, this wasn't a cheap meal, but damn, it was good. Truly a memorable feast.Posted by Tony at June 27, 2008 7:05 AM | TrackBack