October 17, 2015

Deep fried on a stick

Pin It

A few of us were getting together for dinner and some wines, and I suggested that we check out Hidden Kitchen (秀殿) - which specializes in deep-fried food on sticks (串揚げ).  A few months ago I saw a flurry of posts about the place, and was told that the place was popular with chefs in town.  This wasn't at all surprising, since the place stays open till 4:30 a.m. and would be perfect for chefs who are looking for a place to eat after they close their own restaurants.  It's kinda like one of those places that Tony Bourdain loves to check out with his chef buddies, and at the same time in the same vein as Shinya Shokudo (深夜食堂)...

Upon arrival we were advised that our seating is for 2½ hours, which would be fine for a casual eatery.  We were seated at the counter but honestly, I didn't pay much attention to what the chefs were doing...  We decided to order our food in several rounds, which I think would be the right thing to do at joints like this one.

Miso garlic (にんにく味噌漬け) - surprisingly this did not have the heavy, pungent taste of garlic... In addition to miso, there were also bonito flakes (鰹節).

Pacific saury sashimi (秋刀魚の刺身) - this is the season for Pacific saury (秋刀魚), so this was fatty and nice.  There were a few pieces which were more bitter than others, tasting a little of the fish's organs.

Conger eel (穴子)

Here's what it looked like inside... Very nice and fluffy.

Kelp with herring roe (子持ち昆布) - I wasn't expecting a cube...

An inside look shows a couple of layers of kelp sandwiched between chunks of herring roe.  Loved this as the herring roe maintained their springy texture on the bite, and there was that satisfying crunch when the individual eggs popped.

Bagna cauda (酒盗のバーニャカウダ) - so surprised to see this on the menu.  The veggies were lightly pickled.

The dip was all Japanese, made with the internal organs of different types of fish (酒盗).

Sillago (鱚) - I love sillago, and this was very nice.

Eggplant (なす)

Pork shoulder (豚肩ロース) - how can I not order some pork?

The pork was very tender and juicy.

Chicken wing (手羽唐揚げ) - everyone wanted chicken wings, and for good reason.  The deep-fried wings were drizzled in a delicious, tart sauce that ended up running down my fingers and hands.

Prawn (海老) - loved that they gave me the head, too.

Oyster (かき) - I forgot to ask where the Japanese oyster came from, but this would be a good reason to love the Japanese fried oyster (カキフライ)... So fat and creamy.

Deep-fried sweet potato (フライドさつまいも) - WOW!  This was AWESOME!  Hands down everyone's favorite of the night.  Crunchy and sweet, with a light sprinkle of salt to bring out the sweetness.  I miss the crunchy sweet potato chips from my old favorite Irori (いろり)...

Smoked pickled radish (いぶりがっこ) - crunchy and definitely pretty smoky.  Nice.

Deep-fried chicken cartilage (なんこつ唐揚げ) - always a crowd favorite, and this didn't disappoint.  But once again, this was something that Irori did very well... and better.

Yuzu ice cream (ゆずアイスクリーム) - very fragrant thanks to the chunks of yuzu (ゆず) rind.  Very refreshing end to a oily and fatty meal.

This is a drinking crowd, and we agreed that I will bring the sakes for the evening while another friend would bring some bubbly.

Bijofu Cuvée Akagizaka Unfiltered Sparkling (美丈夫 あかぎ坂 うす濁り) - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Made especially for Master at Tamanegiya (たまねぎや) Tokyo and a gift from him on my last visit.  Sweet on the attack but with a dry finish.  Body seemed light at first but there's actually more depth here.

1995 Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle - nice and more acidic thanks to the dominance of chardonnay, but also some ripeness on the attack.

Zaku Crown Toji's Specialty Select (筰クラウン 杜氏特選秘藏酒) - with a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 40%.  Smooth on the palate with a dry finish, opened up to show a more yeasty nose and a full body.  Very delicious and enjoyable.

A very fun evening.  Absolutely nothing to complain about the food, and given that the place is open till the wee hours, I imagine I would have reason to come back here...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map