May 26, 2011

Up and down Japanese evening

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After the Acker tasting, I met up with the Resident Froggie for a Japanese evening - starting with dinner at Irori (酒処いろり).  I'm happy to see that business has returned to my favorite haunt, so I could continue to enjoy their food for years to come.

Sesame sauce tomato salad (胡麻トマト) - it's been a long time since I had this.  Still love the refreshing tomatoes with that great sesame/ponzu sauce.

Raw corn on the cob - the corn from Japan is soooo ripe and sweet.  It almost tastes like the sugar inside the kernels are starting to ferment... I commented that this was like eating candy...

Grilled ox tongue with spring onions (牛タン葱焼き) - wonderful as always, especially the pool of jus/fat at the bottom of the dish...

Firefly squid (蛍烏賊) - yummy with typical strong flavors of the ink.  Also pairs well with the sweet miso sauce.

Thick cut triped jack (縞鰺たたき) - very nice and a little chewy.

Fried burdock (きんぴらごぼう) - another favorite dish... and just love the sweet taste plus crunchy texture of the veg.

With her new regime this year, Froggie's appetite has reduced significantly and this was all the food we could take.  In fact, I ended up taking a bigger chunk of the food...

The night was still young, and we went upstairs to b.a.r. Executive Bar.  We had a lot of fun there 6 months ago, and decided another visit was long overdue.  I wanted to get my daily nose of fruit juice, and Froggie wanted her vitamins...

We looked at the selection of fresh fruits on the bar, and started picking them one by one.  I started with a passion fruit cocktail, which was made with passion fruit from Kenya, Bacardi rum and Charleston Follies.  Surprisingly this wasn't very sour at all, and there was a hint of bitterness on the finish.  Very light and refreshing.

I moved on to a apricot cocktail, made with fruit from the US and some apricot Brandy.  This was thicker in density, more viscous, but most surprisingly it was a lot more sour.  I guess the fruits themselves weren't that ripe...

The grape cocktail that came next was made with Kyoho (巨峰) grapes grown in Taiwan, and a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend white wine.  This was definitely my favorite of the night.  The grape pulp had that wonderful, green flavor... and the whole drink made me feel as if I were on a hillside forest after the rain.  No hint of alcohol in my glass at all... just freshness.

Froggie and I decided that we've had enough fruit and vitamins for the day, and proceeded to end the evening with some whisky.  I asked for  the Nikka Miyagikyo 12 Years (ニッカ 宮城峡) as it came from Sendai (仙台).  Very sweet on the nose, with caramel, raisins and nutty flavors.

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