March 27, 2016

Tokyo sakura trip day 2: happy to meat you, again

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Dinner time rolled around, and I found myself at Yoroniku (よろにく) once again.  Before my friends graciously agreed to let us tag along on their Tokyo trip, they had already made plans to come here based on my recommendation, so of course I was only too happy to be back at this very good yakiniku (焼肉) joint.

There was a little miscommunication regarding our booking.  Due to the original size of our party - before a couple dropped out - we were booked into a private room.  Apparently one must take one of the two set menus if one books a room, but I always found their set menus boring... and of course I had the audacity to tell it to the manager's face!  After a quick discussion with the manager - and assuring him that we were hungry and would order enough food to at least cover the cost of the set menus - he kindly agreed to let us order à la carte.  Yay!

Since I was the only one who has been here before, I was tasked with ordering for the group.  Which was pretty easy since I just about picked out every single item from the daily special menu...

Maybe it's because we were in a private room, but I don't recall getting an amuse bouche last year.  There was a mix of bamboo shoots, tofu, seaweed (青海苔), and sansho leaves (木の芽).

Yoroniku salad (よろにくサラダ) - I figured we gotta start with some greens to balance out the barrage of red meat that was coming...

Thick-cut tongue (厚切りタン) - gotta start things off on the right foot, with some tongue!  And only thick-cut will do.

Loin (ロース) - not bad at all for an "ordinary" cut of beef.

Korean pancake with Kyoto vegetables (京野菜のチジミ) - this is kinda like a veggie dish, no?  Even though we each got one little slice...  Not too bad.

Kalbi without equals (並じゃないカルビ) - this was oh-so-fatty and oh-so-good.  Had to order another portion later.

Shoulder triangle (カタサンカク) - the front third of the rib cage.  I tried to do this myself and follow instructions last year to cook it for 8 seconds on each side.  Didn't fail too badly, I think...  Very nice texture here, with a little bit of chewiness.

Top shoulder blade (ミスジ) - also a few seconds on each side (menu dictates 3 seconds each side...)  A cow yields only about 3kg of this.  Very silky and tender.

Silk loin (シルクロース) - the house signature cut.  Very silky and tender, indeed...  thanks to all that fat which melted in the mouth. Our waitress came to cook this for us to ensure that we don't fuck it up...  Then we were served a tiny rice ball and encouraged to wrap the beef around it.  Soooo good.

Premium select sirloin (特選サーロイン) - one of our favorite cuts from last year.  Needless to say this was very, very good.  Just look at that marbling!

Chuck flap (ザブトン) - shoulder side rib.  Such thin cut.  So tender.  Look at that amazing marbling!

Soooo damn good with rice and a raw egg yolk.

Filet mignon (フィレミニョン) - very soft and velvety despite being leaner.

Chateaubriand (シャトーブリアン) - the only cut that was priced per piece instead of per portion.  Very tender, and surprisingly more fatty than expected.

Gopchang (コプチャン) - small intestine.  Tons of fat.  Needed to be slow-grilled around the edges of the grill instead of having the fat dripping down in the middle and getting all flamed up.

Kamenoko (亀の子) - this is part of the round tip (シンタマ) just above the hind legs.  The cut was a little thicker than I expected, and the meat itself was a little leaner.

With all the grilling throwing our bodies out of balance, it was imperative to take in something to cool down our constitution.  Shaved ice is one such solution, and once again I ordered both varieties.

Houjicha shaved ice (ほうじ茶のかき氷) - I don't understand why this always comes first, since the flavors of the houjicha is so heavy and smoky that it kinda overwhelms the palate.

Shirokuma shaved ice (しろくまのかき氷) - in contrast this would seem very bland, as it was served with just condensed milk with a couple of small pieces of fruit.

We ordered a few rounds of sake from the limited list...

Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo (楯野川 純米大吟醸) - as this came not in bottles but in one-go (合) servings, I never saw the bottle and had no idea which of the many daiginjos this was.  Surprisingly a little savory on the palate, with a pretty spicy finish. So maybe this was the Honryu Karakuchi (本流辛口) bottling?

Kokuryu Daiginjo (黒龍 大吟醸) - kinda spicy on the palate, with flavors reminiscent of fermented tofu.

I was very, very happy with the meat tonight... which, of course, went down really well with some steamed rice.  But the one drawback of being in the private room?  There was so much smoke and not enough ventilation... Towards the end all the smoke was coming straight for my eyes, and they were tearing up pretty badly.  Definitely coming back with a smaller group next time so that we could sit outside.

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