June 30, 2012

A-salting the palate

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I'm back in Hong Kong spending some time with Tigger and family, and we went to Sushi Kato (寿司加藤) for dinner.  It's a little out of my usual patrol area, but apparently Mrs. Tigger used to come here a lot many years ago.  Given I'm with old regulars, I decided it would be wise to let them do the ordering.

The amuse bouche was herring roe (数の子) with Chinese cabbage. The young sansho leaves (木の芽) provided a really nice kick...

Radish simmered with okra - this was OK.

Grilled shishito peppers (獅子唐辛子) - with bonito (鰹) flakes.

Grilled ox tongue (牛タン) - not bad, but slightly heavy on seasoning.

Braised fish head - had a little bit of this, which was OK.  Not sure what kind of fish this was… Burdock (牛蒡) was OK.

Manila clams simmered in sake (浅蜊蒸し) - a few of these still had sand inside.  Not happy.

Whitebait tempura (白身魚天ぷら) - the others have been complaining about the heavy hand of the chef, but this was the dish that really pushed me over the edge.  So much salt was sprinkled on the batter…  We actually returned it and asked the kitchen to make us another portion, but with less salt this time.

Beef rolls - the new, over-eager-with-a-fake-smile "manager" explained that the beef slices are rolled around Chinese yam (淮山), but it's obviously burdock (牛蒡) in the middle.  This begs the question of what this guy is doing here managing a Japanese restaurant, when he can't even recognize one of the most common ingredients found in Japanese restaurants…  The rolls were pretty decent, by the way…

Deep-fried cod bones - this is one of the favorite dishes of the family, and honestly somehow I'd never had this dish until I was introduced by them!  Again this was heavy-handed, but for something like this which is meant to accompany alcohol, I guess that's not too surprising…  After all, many restaurants add salt and spice to their dishes in order to sell more booze.

Potato croquets (コロッケ) - these were OK.

Knowing Uncle's penchant for a little drink, I brought along a bottle of 1999 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese.  Nose of petrol, flint, sulfur. Medium acidity with sweetness.

Not surprisingly, Uncle didn't take to a semi-sweet German Riesling with only 8.5% alcohol… and soon switched to some cold sake.  I ended up joining him.

This wasn't exactly a great experience, and I don't think any of us will be returning any time soon… or ever…  Sad to see a restaurant pissing off its old customers...


YTSL said...

Yikes, that doesn't sound like a great meal at all.

BTW, did you guys have any sushi at the restaurant? With the word "sushi" in its name, one would have thought that would be its specialty...

Peech said...

I wasn't in the mood for sushi that night...


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