July 20, 2013

Hodgepodge Japanese

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After an evening of stuffing myself, I got together with the Specialist and BFF for a casual dinner.  Any  gathering with the two of them meant some serious drinking, and we ended up at Nadaman (なだ万) in the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel.  I had always found the food at the Hong Kong branch of Nadaman to be decent but nothing special, but we apparently have an "in" here and things would be more special tonight.

We arrived late and the restaurant was pretty busy, so it was a while before we had anything substantial to nibble on.  There were a couple of starving mouths in our little private room… not to mention some very thirsty ones.  I was a little under the weather and decided to restrain myself thanks to my pounding headache.

It's not surprising to find some chilled tomatoes as our amuse bouche...

…but I'll bet one would be hard pressed to find jamón ibérico on offer at many other Japanese restaurants!

Soon after we found ourselves facing a small hill of deep-fried prawn heads.  Not exactly what I needed tonight, and certainly not in this quantity!  Given that one of us is allergic to prawns and another isn't as hungry as she usually is, guess who ended up consuming the bulk of this?  As someone commented online, it looks like we slaughtered "a whole village"…

We had some sashimi to start us off.  I told the chef that I didn't want any tuna, so I got a few other things:
Striped jack (縞鰺) - pretty firm and crunchy today.
Flounder fin (えんがわ) - pretty crunchy, too.
Squid (イカ) - nice and firm.
Sea urchin (雲丹)
Scallop (帆立貝) - very nice and sweet.

A trio of sushi came next:
Yellowtail amberjack (平政)

Salmon roe (イクラ)

Raw shrimp (甘蝦)

Striped jack collar (縞鰺かま)

Pan-fried sirloin - not sure where the beef came from, but this was sooo fatty it melted in my mouth.  Very yum, but grain-fed for sure.

Stir-fried vegetables - done teppanyaki (鉄板焼き) style, with some cracked black pepper.

My capacity for wine was severely diminished tonight, so I only managed to taste the first two bottles of the evening while the ladies went on to the third…

1996 Salon - I was pretty skeptical about drinking this tonight, since every other time I've tasted this wine before I ended up thinking the wine was too young and not ready.    The Specialist wanted to try regardless, and as it turns out the wine has mellowed a little.  Still very young and fresh, with a heady mousse and a little bit of toast.

1997 Dominus - drinking very well tonight.  Nose of pencil lead, a little grilled meats, very nice and sweet berries, a little hospital disinfectant, smoky and minty.

It was getting late and I needed to catch up on my beauty sleep, so I bid farewell to the ladies and hightailed it outta there...

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