March 6, 2021

Absolutely not a birthday dinner

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I last saw My Favorite Cousin a month ago, and that was just waaaay too long.  So I took the opportunity to grab dinner with her tonight.  When the original plan didn't work out, I was ever so grateful that RAW Bro stepped us to help arrange things for us at Nikushou.

Someone wanted deep-fried dishes, so I tried to pick out whatever I could from the menu.  I even went as far as to have the boss call the kitchen to get us something off-menu... just to make you-know-who happy.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - from Hokkaido.  Always taken with some salt here to bring out the sweetness, although I felt I had a few flakes too many.

Japanese mountain vegetables tempura (山菜天ぷら) - a seasonal special for spring.   Ostrich fern shoots (コゴミ), koshiabura (漉油) leaves which tasted a little like parsley and celery,  Japanese angelica shoots (タラの芽), and bamboo shoots.

Disk abalone (黒アワビ) - from Australia.  This was very nice.

Seasonal vegetables tempura (野菜天ぷら盛合せ) - there weren't many other choices for deep-fried goodies on the menu, and we could always use more veg.  

Deep-fried ebi taro with Shanghai crab (海老芋揚げ  上海蟹) - RAW Bro always loves shrimp taro (海老芋), and lately he's been serving it with a sauce made with the roe from Chinese mitten crabs (大閘蟹) and Huadiao wine (花雕酒).  topped with perilla leaf chiffonade and a dab of wasabi.  Slurp!

Hida wagyu tenderloin sando (飛騨牛カツサンド) - more deep-fried food!  But at least this IS beef, and very tasty beef, too!  

Fried chicken (チキン唐揚げ) - off-menu item thanks to RAW Bro.  Honestly, what's not to like about chicken that's been marinated in yakiniku (焼肉) sauce?  Pretty sure that by now. My Favorite Cousin was happy.

Then came the yakiniku.  I had picked out 5 cuts I wanted from the menu:

Thick cut Australian wagyu tongue (オーストラリア  和牛タン) - this is always good.  Springy texture and very tasty.

Hida chuck tender (飛騨牛トウガラシ) - lean and very nice.

Hida top shoulder blade (飛騨牛ミスジ) - soooo nice and soooo tender.  I could taste the fat together with the sauce.  This is always one of my favorite cuts.

Rib fingers (中落ちカルビ) - not sure I've had this before.  This was more charred, with a thicker cut and more springy in terms of texture.

Nikushouyaki sirloin (肉匠焼き サーロイン) - of course, we finish with the signature of the restaurant.  This sirloin from Kumamoto (熊本) is always welcome, especially with the combination of the yolk sauce and the yakiniku sauce.

Sea salt milk ice cream with matcha jelly and azuki beans - I was pretty full, but I was still happy to have this simple dessert.

2004 B de Boërl and Kroff, dégorgée en avril 2016 - nice and yeasty mousse, fragrant and lovely nose with marmalade notes.

2003 Harlan The Maiden - decanted 1 hour prior to serving. Smoky, grilled meats, minty. Sweet on the palate and tannins were still a little grippy. One and a half hours in the nose showed more coconut butter.

1998 La Mission Haut-Brion - decanted for more than 2 hours prior to serving. Classic claret, with more smoke and leaner palate, higher acidity, and not so tannic. Showed more dusty and dirty notes after 3 hours in decanter, perhaps too much aeration? Poured back into bottle and brought over to Caprice Bar, then improved and showed coffee notes.

Drinks at Caprice Bar.

2004 Clape Cornas - beautiful nose of leather, some sweet fruit, some exotic spices and eucalyptus. Fucking beautiful.

A very happy evening. So glad I could spend more time with My Favorite Cousin, with some good food and good wine... We are indeed blessed to still be able to enjoy this.

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