March 18, 2013

Monkey see, monkey do

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It's been a while since I last had some kushiyaki (串焼き).  In fact I can't remember the last time I had some decent stuff on skewers.  I was getting together with a friend who wanted to try out Three Monkeys.  As I had never been, I happily agreed to the suggestion.

I didn't know much about the place, other than that it was Japanese.  A quick search online led to me a review written by my fellow blogger (and occasional drinking friend) R of Birdie Golf.  I knew I was in safe hands if I just followed what he ordered…

I decided that we should order in rounds, keeping to 3-4 items per round.  We also ordered some cocktails to start…

Yuzu julep - FAIL.  It wasn't a bad drink, but I couldn't for the life of me taste any hint of yuzu (柚子).

GYU-Tongue: thick cut ox tongue, sea salt, black pepper, whole grain mustard - probably the first thing I'd order at any kushiyaki joint.  Thick cut really is the best.  Kinda interesting with a dab of mustard, but I still prefer it with just salt and pepper.

I didn't have any of the foie gras tofu toast, because it came in one piece and the mesh scoop that came with it looked a little flimsy for us to use it to cut up the tofu…  Apparently it was very good.

Tomato bacon: sea salt and black pepper - not bad.

Kurobuta belly: shiso leaves, sea salt - not mind-blowing, but decent.  Interesting touch with the perilla (紫蘇) leaves.

Kalbi: rib, spring onion, garlic, chili - again this was decent, but fell short of my (perhaps unreasonably high) expectations.

Tsukune: chicken and egg, handmade - normally this is my go-to item at any yakitori joint, but I passed this up in favor of something else tonight.  However the waitstaff got my order wrong, and the manager decided that we should have it anyway…  Always love the chopped bits of cartilage inside, and the raw egg yolk, too.

Portobello: katsuo flakes and soy - not bad, actually, but where were the bonito (鰹) flakes?  We had grated radish (大根おろし) and perilla flowers on top…

Tsukune Piiman: green peppers, chicken stuffing, katsuo flakes - this was what I actually ordered instead of the ordinary tsukune (つくね).  Kinda interesting.

Obaasan's wagyu stew: slow cooked wagyu brisket topped with foie gras - HUH? Where's the brisket?!  I think my friend had two little bits, but all I got was tendon… and one piece of foie.   My friend commented that this was pretty much Chinese… although Japanese do eat beef tendon stew.

I finished with this cocktail, which I think was called the Japanese Monk.  Yes, I like girlie drinks… but actually I'll drink anything with lychee in it because it's one of my favorite fruits since childhood.  Nice and refreshing.

Not a bad way to spend a Monday night...


Birdie Golf said...

Hope it didn't disappoint. Honestly, I liked the ambiance more than the food.... Wouldn't mind to give them one more chance to see if they have ironed out their teething problems.

Peech said...

The food was OK, but nothing to rave about. Verdict is still out on the cocktails.

Sue-Ann said...

Definitely a nice way to relax on a Monday night.


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