December 25, 2020

Supporting restaurants: Christmas lunner

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It's Christmas Day, and we're kinda recovering from a quiet night at home.  I had been planning to take things easy and spend most of the long weekend at home, but seeing that we (clarification: Hello Kitty) would be cooking most of the week, I kinda wanted to see if we could pick a restaurant to support at the last minute.  As it turned out, Godenya (ごでんや) had seats for us today, although thanks to the government's ban on indoor dining after 6pm, meals are now scheduled at 4pm instead of dinner.

I was glad to see Goshima-san persevering through these tough times for the F and B industry, and glad that I could do my very small part to help them.

Ankimo, thousand-year old egg, persimon, monaka (鮟肝  皮蛋  柿  最中) - very happy to have this again, and nice to see additional ingredients in the dish.  The taiyaki (鯛焼き)-shaped monaka (最中) shell contained a layer of smoky paste made from the liver of monkfish caught off Yoichi (余市) in Hokkaido.  This time, though, there were chunks of sweet, seasonal persimmon buried inside.  The gelée made with dashi (出汁), mirin (味醂), and sake on top was the same, but tonight we had curry leaves on top.  I have to admit, though, that I didn't taste much century eggs (皮蛋)...

Beau Michelle Junmai Nama Sparkling Daiginjo (Beau Michelle 純米生活性), 2019-20, served at 10°C - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%.  Certainly tasted like muscat, and plenty of fermented rice flavors and banana.  Fizzy on the palate.  The fruity flavors worked very well with the smoky ankimo.

Matsuba-kani, ebi-taro, celeriac (松葉蟹  海老芋  セロリアック) - I am grateful that Goshima-san remembered my abhorrence for fish cum, and removed the offending ingredient from the sauce that was drenched over Japanese snow crab (松葉蟹) meat from Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県).  That meant the sauce consisted of mostly crab tomalley (蟹味噌) mixed with sake and soy sauce, making for some pretty strong flavors to go with the crab meat.  I also liked the combination of shrimp taro (海老芋) and celeriac, as the silky smooth texture of the former contrasted with the crunchier latter.  

My only complaint?  Without any fish cum in my sauce, why couldn't they have doubled the amount of crab tomalley they gave me???

Mansakuno Hana Junmai Daiginjo Aiyama (まんさくの花  純米大吟醸  愛山酒), 2019-20 served at 11°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 45%.  Still fruity but a little more dry on the palate, with a long finish.  Starts sweet on the attack but the finish was dry.  A little more viscous.

Buri, sticky rice, shimeji (鰤  糯米  大黒しめじ) - the smoky, fatty, and delicious yellowtail from Himi (氷見) in Toyama Prefecture (富山県) was marinated and dry-aged for 4 days.  The sticky rice came with ginkgo nuts, and we've also got some nice tare (たれ).  The daikoku shimeji (大黒しめじ) was nice, too.

Sogen Junmai Daiginjo Muroka Namagenshu (宗玄  純米大吟醸  無濾過生原酒), 2019-20, served at 15°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Sweet on the attack and turned dry mid-palate, with a long finish.

Kinmedai, hamaguri, Syogoin kabu (金目鯛  蛤  聖護院蕪  金時人参) - buried underneath the fibrous mash made with the famous Shogoin turnip (聖護院蕪) was a clam with strong flavors, chunks of very red Kintoki carrots (金時人参), and some small botan shrimp (牡丹海老) which were fully-cooked and slightly mushy.

The slices of splendid alfonsino (金目鯛) from Chiba Prefecture (千葉県) were mi-cuit and very, very nice.

Zaruso Horai Junmai Ginjo Queeen Nama (残草蓬莱  純米吟醸  クイーン生), 2019-20, served at 12°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%.  Definitely felt the lactic acid, and very fruity... like fruit-flavored milk I drank when I was young.

Shirako, karasumi, Jerusalem artichoke (白子  唐墨  菊芋  柚子  ちぢみほうれん草) - yup, fish cum has been removed from my serving.  Some dried chijimi spinach (ちぢみほうれん草) and slices of house-cured karasumi (唐墨) act as the lid covering the hollowed out yuzu (柚子) rind.  Inside we found grilled scallops, grilled karasumi, and also some spinach.  The fragrance of the yuzu was really nice.

Nida Shizensyu Junmai wood cask (にいだしぜんしゅ  純米樽酒), 2019-20, served at 22°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 80%.  Definitely tasted the wooden barrel, probably made of Japanese cedar. Very fragrant. Very rounded on the palate. Good balance between sweetness and acidity. The smoky and woodsy notes paired very well with the smoky scallops and karasumi.

Hangover seko-kani, lily root, rice (酔っ払いセコガニ  百合根  米) - the most anticipated dish of today's menu.  Seikogani (せいこ蟹) is a seasonal dish in the winter featuring the female Japanese snow crab, and today these came from Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県).  Here it sat on top of a bed of risotto with pine nuts and lily bulb.  And one of the claws was making a peace sign... although I couldn't help but think of the ubiquitous "はい!チーズ!" 

Flipping up the shell shows all the goodies - snow crab meat, tomalley (蟹味噌), ovaries (内子), and the eggs (外子) - all "drunken" and marinated in sake for 4 days..  We've also got sansho (山椒) pepper to add some kick.

Mixing it all together with the risotto made for one delicious mouthful after another.  I greedily gobbled it all up, wishing I had two more servings.  Hello Kitty had been thinking about this dish for the last couple of months, and I'm glad we finally got to have it despite not being able to travel to Japan.

Kikuyoi Junmai Ginjo (喜久酔  純米吟醸), 2018-2019, served at 12°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Very nicely balanced and elegant. Lean and very clean, dry, and very easy to drink.

Sawara, lotus root, white miso (鰆  蓮根  白味噌出汁) - the Spanish mackerel from Kyoto was nice and smoky from grilling, with beautiful texture.  Buried underneath the fish were slices of lotus root where the holes were stuffed with a mix of white miso and mustard... which was somewhat of a surprise.

Tenon Junmai Ginjo (天穏  純米吟醸), 2019-20, served at 46°Cseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%.  Serving it warm made it soft, with some fermented flavors. A little more dry.

Udon, duck (うどん  鴨) - the slices of duck were beautifully thin, and the broth was smoky and flavorful.

Cocao, ice, apple, sake, ichigo (カカオ  アイス  林檎  酒  苺) - a cute Christmas dessert featuring a strawberry Santa... each with a different expression.  As is traditional, a sweet sake is poured into the bowl.

Minshuku Tono Dobuqueur (民宿とおの  どぶきゅーる)

I'm so glad we made this last-minute booking, as it's always nice to dine out during the festive season... and gives me a break from doing dishes and washing all the wine glasses.  Here's hoping that we will have dined out a lot more in support of the F and B industry by next Christmas.

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