February 25, 2012

Birthday lunch with No. 88

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It's coming up to Mom's birthday, and this year we decided to celebrate it with a few small groups of close  friends and relatives.  For the first meal, I decided to take them to something a little different - for them, that is.  Lunch at Gyodoike (魚道生) seemed like a pretty good idea…

Raw Hokkaido oyster - I offered this to Mom for a taste, thinking that she would split it with me.  No such luck…  She enjoyed the fresh oyster so much that she ate it all by herself.  Oh well…

Grilled firefly squid (蛍烏賊) - a little smaller than the ones I'm used to, and I normally take these raw… but not too bad.  Lightly grilled, but a little lacking in the yummy ink flavor…  I think they were simply too small to have much ink.

Appetizer platter - in the past couple of times, this was been the weakest part of the meal, usually leading me to do a double-take and wonder why they bothered to serve it at all.  Today, however, the quality seemed a little better.

Scallop in plum sauce (帆立貝) - not too bad, and the plum sauce was actually OK.

Rice paper roll with salmon - this is just like one of those Vietnamese rolls… with some salmon inside and topped with a little pollock roe (明太子).  Not bad at all.

Whelk (つぶ貝) - in thin slices, with flying fish roe (とびこ) on top.

The shrimp was coated in a layer of rice crispies and deep-fried.  Not bad.

The sashimi platter was beautifully presented on a bed of ice inside a bowl, decorated with leaves and a single iris flower.  The six different varieties were:

Sea robin (魴鯡) - interesting… having it for the first time.
Olive flounder (平目)
Barracuda (魳) - lightly torched.
North Pacific giant octopus (水蛸) - I love how they have this here… Very nice.
Yellowtail (鰤) - nicely torched and very yummy.
Tuna (鮪)

Grilled black code (銀だら) - very, very nice… The juices were literally dripping from the fish…  The piece of burdock (牛蒡) on the side was a surprise, as it was cooked with lots of sugar and was kinda like sweet potato.

Steamed egg with cod milt (白子茶碗蒸し) - Damn!  I should have remembered that they like to serve cod milt here and told them I didn't want any.  Oh well… I ate it.  The steamed egg itself was very tasty, with some mushrooms, ginko nut, shrimp and other ingredients inside.

Grilled beef with pumpkin and truffle sauce - I thought the beef was very tender and delicious, although some of the others weren't happy about the tendons in their beef.  The sauce was absolutely delicious.

Chicken grunt (鶏魚) - very nice.

Porgy (小鯛) - beautiful and delicious.  Melts in the mouth.

Squid (イカ) - as good as ever.  (Almost) melts in the mouth.

Agedashi tofu (揚げ出し豆腐) - very nicely done.  Crunchy exterior with soft and silken center.  Topped with shredded dried seaweed.

White miso soup with clam - pretty good stuff… Sweet flavors from the clam.

Diced sushi over rice (バラちらし鮨) - as always, the perfect ending to a meal here.  I think everyone felt the same way.

Strawberry mousse - actually a pleasant surprise.  Green tea powder sprinkled over half a fresh strawberry on top of the strawberry mousse… Pretty to look at, and pretty delish.

Kokuryu Hachijyu-hachi Go (黒龍 八十八号) - one of the limited production offerings and among my favorites.  Typical nose of fermented rice (酒釀), this is smooth and a little sweet on the palate when slightly chilled.  Like I noticed last time, though, the palate actually became a lot drier and spicier when chilled a little too much.

A very good lunch.  Everyone was happy, and so was I.  I'll definitely keep coming back here.

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