February 16, 2011

Decent, but no excitement

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After my ho-hum meal last year, I didn't think I would be returning to Nadaman (なだ万) at the Island Shangri-La so soon.  However, I'm still looking for somewhere to have kaiseki (懐石料理) in Hong Kong, and this place has got to be one of the few higher-end options.  So I dragged my friend along, with thoughts of using my discount card to make the price a little more palatable.

While my friend went for the sushi, I stuck with my guns and ordered the seasonal kiri kaiseki (桐懐石).  I had thought about getting the choricho omakase (調理長おまかせ) as it would be more comparable to what Wagyu Kaiseki Den offers, but decided against it.

My friend arrived stressed and thirsty, so we started on the Shikizentokoro Junmai Daiginjo Genshu (四季膳処 純米大吟醸原酒) right away.  With a seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%, the milling rate is pretty fine.  The initial attack was mildly sweet, but turned dry and spicy on the finish.  Not terribly complex, though...

I started with four separate appetizers (旬菜):
Milk bean curd with sea urchin and consommé (牛乳豆腐 生雲丹 コンソメ餡) - the tofu was very milky and interesting.

Blossom vegetable and scallop with mustard (菜の花 小柱 黃身辛子和へ) - the translation here is a little too literal, as 菜の花 actually refers to rapeseed.  This is marinated with mustard and topped with friedl, crunchy strands of scallops.

Boiled "Karashina" seasonal vegetables (からし菜煮浸し 揚げするめ) - the mustard flowers were pretty nice.

Shrimp paste mushroom (衣笠茸海老射込み) - these were OK.

The sashimi (造り) consisted of a single sweet shrimp (甘エビ), slices of flounder (鮃) and mature yellowtail (鰤) which was substituted for tuna.

We were offered some complimentary slices of yamaimo (山芋), which had been dressed with wasabi (山葵).  There's definitely a little kick here...

Simmered dish: simmered tilefish with clam, milt of cod, mushroom, bamboo shoot and scallion (煮物: 甘鯛 蛤 雲子 平茸 竹の子 焼葱 柚子) - this was really delicious... the broth was just wonderful, enhanced by the citrus fragrance of yuzu (柚子) skin.  Once again I am given some fish sperm as part of a winter kaiseki set, which fortunately has been poached.  I reluctantly swallow it...

Vinegar dish: marinated snapper with seasonal vegetables served with plum dressing (酢の物:鯛昆布メ うるい菜 バラフ 梅ドレッシング) - very ho-hum and not something I appreciated.  Iceplant (バラフ) was interesting, while the bitterness of うるい菜 was offset by the plum dressing.

Grilled dish: grilled giant yellowtail with salt served with marinated Hokkaido potato (焼物:鰤塩焼き 千枚蕪 蕗の塔 インカの目覚め酒盜掛け) - winter is the season to eat mature yellowtail, so I chose this over the beef.  Not bad at all.  The bundle of vegetables deep-fried as a tempura was kinda interesting, although something inside was a little bitter.

Rice dish: rice casserole with crab meat and vegetables; soya bean soup and pickles (食事:蟹五目釜炊き 赤出汁 香の物) - this was so-so... the flavors were just too mild and subtle, and none of the vegetables - lotus root, carrot and shiitake mushrooms - stood out as I expected them to.  I actually enjoyed the pickles a lot more...

Dessert: soybean flour cake roll (デザート:きなこのロールケーキ マンゴー 苺) - this was a total failure... I couldn't detect any taste of the soybean flour (きなこ), and could only find the red beans (小豆) inside.  This is what I would call a waste of calories.

Sweet potato spring rolls with green tea ice cream (薩摩芋の春巻 抹茶アイスクリーム) - this was much better.  Loved the deep-fried sweet potato inside the pastry.


Toby mountjoy said...

Whats the deal with the discount card and how do you get one!. Keep up the great posts!!


Peech said...

Maybe you should contact the hotel about this...


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