July 3, 2013

Adrift with the fish

Pin It

After some delay due to our conflicting schedules, I was finally able to meet up with a friend for dinner tonight.  Mo' Unni decided to forgo revisiting Catalunya, and wanted to check out Ronin instead.  I had a pretty good time on my last visit, but was chastised by Your Highness for not posting any pictures.  Luckily I was able to get us seats through their email reservation system, and made sure I would be sitting at the bar where there was light.  For some reason the lights weren't on at the back of the room last time...

Matt came over to say hello as menus were dropped in front of us.  Mo' Unni insisted that she is no longer the Girl With No Appetitie, and somewhere in between staring at the menu and glancing at me, decided that she'd like to go with the tasting menu.  I guess she was really serious about clearing up her reputation!  So we took sips of our drinks and waited for the onslaught of food...

I loved the Hitachino Nest White Ale (常陸野ネストホワイトエール) from my last visit so much that I decided to start my evening with a glass of it.  Light and refreshing, and the aftertaste not so bitter.

Our amuse bouche was okra wrapped with lotus root, with black sesame and shiso.  Gotta say that's one helluva pink lotus root... marinated and a little acidic.

Shigoku oyster, red shiso vinegar, sudachi - these little babies from Washington were a little briny but creamy at the same time.  Nice touch with the sudachi (酢橘).

A little sashimi platter arrived, bearing four different items:
Shima aji sashimi, fresh wasabi, soy
Ika squid sashimi, mentaiko, kabosu - with julienned cucumber and kabosu (香母酢) rind.  Don't think I tasted the mentaiko (明太子)...

Tai sea bream sashimi, karasumi, yuzu - with grated bottarga and yuzu (柚子) rind.  Nice and fragrant.  Love the bottarga as always, and the combination with yuzu just works wonders.

Saba mackerel sashimi, persimmon, smoke - mackerel is always good when it's fatty and rich, and very interesting to have paired it with persimmon.  Nice smoky flavors.

Flower crab, mitsuba, uni - this was where Mo' Unni really came alive… The shell of the crab was filled with sweet crab meat, mixed in with a little bit of mitsuba (三つ葉).  Creamy sea urchin made Mo' Unni very happy...

Bonito katsuo sashimi, tosa shoyu, white onion - very tender and yummy, with the bonito wrapped around the onions and sprinkles of scallions all around.  The Tosa soy sauce (土佐醤油) itself is made with bonito, so of course it would match perfectly with bonito sashimi...

Spanish mackerel, tomato, white ponzu - the mackerel is lightly battered and deep-fried.  The ponzu (ポン酢) and tomato combination was pretty sour.  Got some red onions and mizuna (水菜), too...  Not bad, but prefer not to deep-fry mackerel.

Sardines, pickled eggplant, tomato, cauliflower - YUM.  Love sardines. The finely chopped eggplant, and tomato provide the acidity to cut the fat of the sardines.  Yummy cauliflower, too.

Django - having finished my white ale, I ordered up one of these at the suggestion of a waiter.  Made with Williams Gin, Mancino Vermouth Rosso and Aperol, apparently it's their version of negroni.  Nice and bitter, with the delicious fragrance of orange rind.

Gillardeau oysters, smoked tofu, cauliflower - my favorite oyster, with plenty of salmon roe on top.  Nice and smoky flavors, kinda covering up the yuzu.

Triggerfish, honey, Kyoto shichimi, chestnuts - I've never had triggerfish before, and this was a nice preparation.  Love that honey glaze, which was enhanced by shichimi (七味) from Kyoto's Shichimiya (七味屋).  The slices of chestnuts were surprisingly hard and crunchy, but nice!

Squid steak, maitake mushrooms, thyme - the grilled squid was pretty good, but the maitake (舞茸) definitely stole the show with its wonderful flavors together with the slightly sweet sauce.  How interesting for Matt to have come up with the thyme tempura (天ぷら) that has been sprinkled all over!

Grunt, Yardbird shichimi - a whole grilled grunt (伊佐木), which I ended up having pretty much all to myself... thanks to No Fish Mo' Unni. Pretty good with some lemon juice and the Yardbird shichimi, which was made with Korean chili peppers, sansho (山椒), Sichuan peppercorns and dried yuzu.  I could definitely feel my tongue going a little numb...  Very nice and succulent fish.

The Last Word - for my final drink (or so I thought) I asked for this... trying to be funny.  Made with Williams Gin, Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino and lime.  The Chartreuse was definitely overpowering, and I could definitely taste the lime and feel the gin... but not quite getting the maraschino.

Kagoshima beef, maitake, egg yolk - this wasn't meant to be part of our tasting menu, but I loved it so much last time that I shamelessly asked Matt for it... and also to give Mo' Unni something to eat...  YUM!  Fatty, melt-in-your-mouth mostly raw beef, together with the raw egg yolk and sweet sauce... kick-ass sukiyaki (すき焼き)!  Raw onions, scallions, maitake... and those deep-fried garlic chips!  Could this get any better?  I think not.

Unagi, kinome, chirashi, rice - I was wondering about this eel a little, because it was pretty damn thick!  Loved the eel, loved the rice marinated in vinegar... and especially loved the sansho leaf (木の芽) that gave me that tingling numbness on my tongue.

Unfortunately Matt no longer has the delicious udon (うどん) on the menu, so I can only dream of having it again someday... maybe.

I was soooo full... and pretty happy from the alcohol, too... but Matt wouldn't let us go without having "dessert".  Ronin's idea of dessert?  Cocoa Nib Old Fashioned - made with Yardbird Cocoa Nib Shochu, Pampero Añejo and chocolate.  Nice way to send me home with more alcohol in my system... hic...  Oh and someone had TWO drinks desserts...

I'm glad I made it back here tonight.  The food was very enjoyable, the atmosphere was jovial and the staff friendly.  I can't imagine ever not having a good time here...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map