June 25, 2014

Completing the trio

Pin It

Peter Lam opened a trio of Japanese restaurants in the same location a couple of years ago, and I've had the opportunity to try out both Rozan (魯山) - which serves up some of the best sushi in town - and Gin Sai (吟彩), with a well-rounded variety of Japanese cuisines.  But Wagyu Takumi - the sole recipient of macarons from the Rubberman - was a place I never had occasion to visit.  So when a friend from out of town suggested that we meet up there, I heartily agreed with his choice of venue.

Like its adjoining sister restaurant Rozan, the seating was pretty much limited to a small L-shaped counter along with a separate private space.  Chef Mitsuru Konishi was already prepping when I arrived, and soon the strong smells from the teppan and the grill were filling my nostrils.  As the ventilation really wasn't strong enough, I could see that my ability to smell the wines would be greatly diminished tonight...

Boston lobster tartar with dill cream, lobster jelly and caviar (ロブスターのタルタル、ディルクリーム、ロブスターゼリー、キャビア) - a pretty good start to dinner.  There was surprising crunch inside the lobster tartar thanks to some finely diced chives, and all the flavors from the jelly, caviar, dill cream...etc. worked together perfectly.

Deep fried zucchini flower stuffed with scampi and Mozzarella, zucchini puree, chorizo sauce (ラングスティーヌお詰めた花ズッキーニ、チョリソソース) - very interesting as the scampi was finely diced and mixed in with Mozzarella, finely diced chorizo and pine nuts before being stuffed.

Japanese corn espuma with royale de foie gras custard (日本のコーンのエスプーマ、フォアグラロワイヤル) - very, very yummy.  I looove Japanese corn, and when you put foie gras custard at the bottom of that cup... the combination was just killer.  The corn stick had a thin line of corn purée and was sprinkled with bits of popcorn.  I could do with another cup of this.

Abalone and Shimanto seaweed with barley risotto (鮑と四万十青海苔のリゾット) - the abalone had lots of bite to it, unless the steamed or braised versions I'd been having lately.  Flavor-wise this was on the heavier side.  The barley risotto had finely chopped cubes of lotus root (蓮根), giving it a nice crunch.  The celery foam on top was presented with some ground pink peppercorns.  Yummy.

Pan-fried Japanese hairtail, fresh tomato sauce and eggplant puree (大刀魚のソテー、フレッシュトマトソース、茄子のピューレ) - I can't remember the last time I've had this type of fish at a high-end restaurant, but the texture really is much, much finer than your average cutlassfish that mom used to fry up when I was a kid.  Of course the skin was perfectly crispy.  Nice combination with the tomato and eggplant, as well as a little cucumber flower.

Roasted French pigeon with salmi sauce (フランス産鳩のロースト、サルミソース) - I watched as the chef's little helpers took the pigeon out and sliced it up for the four of us.  There was a little section of pigeon wing confit, which was kinda interesting.  The roast pigeon breast was flawless.  But the surprise was the tempura (天ぷら) of pigeon liver, which had a nice, concentrated flavor.  Chanterelles and potatoes on the side.

Charcoal grilled Hida wagyu tenderloin and teppanyaki Kagoshima sirloin (飛騨和牛テンダーロイン炭焼きと鹿児島鉄板焼きサーロイン) - how does one go wrong with marbled beef like this?  Clearly the tenderloin would be a little leaner, but no less "tender", juicy and delicious.  The sirloin was melt-in-the-mouth as expected - a beautiful example of what Japanese beef can achieve.  I was happy taking the beef "as is" with the truffled jus, but also dipped in the black pepper sauce just for comparison's sake.  Of course, I had to pick up the deep-fried garlic chips one by one and nibbled on them...

Stilton cheese with black figs, red Port ice cream (スティルトンチーズとブラックイチジク、赤ポートアイスクリーム) - blue cheese and figs is always a good combination, and this worked really well together as the very salty flavors of the Stilton helped release the intense sweetness of the figs.  The Port ice cream was just yummy, period.

Fromage-blanc sorbet and grapefruit custard (フロマージュブランシャーベットとグレープフルーツカスタード) - very nice combination here, and I especially liked the grapefruit wedges along with the blob of custard/jelly with its own membrane.  Nice and bitter citrus flavors.  Sorbet was very light and refreshing.

I brought 2 magnums tonight as there were 4 of us...

2001 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet en magnum - very toasty, lots of corn, and lemon citrus.  After 2 hours, the sweetness was really nice.  Drinking really well.

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia from magnum - tons of smoke, minerals, grilled meats, cedar, and very fragrant.

A very good evening, with good food, good wines and good company.  The food did not let us down - there were no fails tonight, not even a dish that disappointed in the least - and there were a few nice surprises on the upside.  I'm glad I finally made it here, and it would be interesting to come back for a different menu.  Soon.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map