November 2, 2019

Tokyo sushi day: drunken onion, episode 7

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After my filling sushi dinner, it was time for sake! I had called Master a few days ago and made a reservation, and dutifully made my way to Tamanegiya (酒たまねぎや). The Dining Austrian also joined me after his “all-you-can-eat” sushi dinner at one of the top sushiyas in town.

We've got the usual accompaniment of tomatoes and stewed fish head with ginger. The tomatoes are always so good here.

Since I don’t have Hello Kitty to help share my glass, I would be limited in what I could taste tonight. Oh well…

Tokyo sushi day: no pictures and no magic

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My original plan for dinner tonight was pretty simple. I was either going to check out a place recommended by a friend, which still serves the “real, traditional” edomae sushi (江戸前寿司) before things got refined, or I was simply gonna have a bowl of my favorite ramen at Hakata Tenjin (博多天神).

Then a week ago someone I know offered up two seats at Sushi Hashiguchi (鮨はしぐち), which is apparently ranked No. 5 for all Tokyo sushi restaurants on Tabelog. I remember reading other people posting about this place, and it is supposedly pretty difficult to book. So I figured that since I happened to be in town tonight, and had no fixed plans I couldn’t cancel, I might as well give this a try.

It turned out that my dining companion also lives in Hong Kong, and had flown up for the occasion. The two of us would be among the 6 foreigners at the 9-seat counter tonight.

Hashiguchi-san had not been told about his regular customer not showing up, so we kinda had to offer an explanation about the situation, and how we happen to know the customer. He was also curious about our backgrounds, and was a lot more chatty towards non-regular customers.

However, he is very strict about the no-photo policy at his restaurant… so the only picture one ever sees on Tabelog is that of the discreet signage out front.

Tokyo sushi day: back at Saito

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I'm spending about 30 hours in Tokyo on a whirlwind trip.  The main event of the trip would be my lunch date at Sushi Saito (鮨さいとう), which was booked when I visited for the first time in March.  Even though I'm busy as hell at work and have a crazy flying schedule, one does not give up a seat at Saito easily.  So I hopped on the redeye and landed at 5 a.m. this morning.

After catching a few more hours of sleep at my hotel, I dragged my tired ass out of bed and headed out to lunch with The Dining Austrian.

The first thing I noticed as we were getting seated was how tight the space was.  Sure enough, today there were 10 seats at the counter... so the chairs were literally touching each other.  And I counted 5 to 6 foreigners at the main counter...

As usual, we start with a series of otsumami (おつまみ) before getting to the sushi portion.

Salmon roe (イクラ) – as usual, the fragrance of yuzu (柚子) zest is alluring.

October 31, 2019

Deep-fried birthday

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Mr and Mrs Birdiegolf wanted to get together for a belated celebration of Hello Kitty’s birthday, and much to my surprise, the birthday girl chose to have tempura… and requested that we revisit Tenkai (天海).

This being Halloween, and seeing that the group of protestors have decided to descend upon Lan Kwai Fong (蘭桂坊) and Soho to disrupt Halloween, we were grateful to be dining to the west of the action. However, this meant that we were delayed in our arrival, and Hello Kitty was stuck in traffic. The end result of it all was that Nagasawa-san had his resting bitch face on the whole evening…

We were introduced to the three types of salt in front of us, each from a different area and with different flavor profile. These were Heda salt (戸田塩) from Izu City (伊豆市) in Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県); wasabi salt from Shizuoka City, and seaweed salt (藻塩) from Kure City (呉市) in Hiroshima Prefecture (広島県).

Our starter (小鉢) was a small bowl of Kagoshima (鹿児島) A4 wagyu with some mushrooms and vegetables.

The tempura portion started with a prawn head. This is always good.

October 23, 2019

Eating fish and meat like a white girl

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Ro Ro and DaRC are kinda hosting a dinner, and Hello Kitty and I have been invited to join the fun.  This was also an excuse for the gang to celebrate two October birthdays, so I decided to bring slightly nicer wines than usual.  Hello Kitty was pretty excited about this dinner, because it would be her first chance to try out the cuisine at The Sports Club (五陵會).

Looking at the menu, and one could be forgiven for thinking that there was a celebratory feast going on...

Pickled cucumbers and century eggs (酸青瓜皮蛋) - I really liked the texture of the pickled cucumbers.  The century eggs produced some interesting results with the Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet.

Bitter gourd with preserved olives and mustard leaves (欖菜涼瓜條)

Deep-fried prawns with salted egg yolk (金沙蝦球) - deep-fried.  Lathered in gooey, salted egg yolk.  How does anyone resist these?!

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