April 23, 2021

Big Seven night

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Chocolate Ball has been helping me with some sake purchases over the last few months, and it may be a while before I get to see DaRC over a meal again, so I figured we should take this opportunity to open something nice together.  One thing led to another and, before we knew it, this impromptu dinner morphed into an occasion to taste a couple of premium sakes.

Once again we relied on RAW Yeah to rescue us, and to be honest, we're always happy with the food at Nikushou.  I have noticed, though, that we seem to be getting less and less beef at this so-called yakiniku joint...

Chilled Japanese snow crab, vinegar jelly - tons of meat from Japanese horsehair crab (毛蟹) coming from Hokkaido, including whole sections of crab let. Acidity from the jelly always helps to balance out the savory flavors of the ocean.

Grilled eel with sansho sauce and sansho flowers - they've run out of sansho flowers (花山椒), so we've been allocated a tiny little bit on our dishes. Oh well. Good to have more sansho to go with the eel.

White asparagus, firefly squid, and rapeseed flowers - the white asparagus from Landes was pretty good, but of course nothing beats the firefly squid (蛍烏賊) in my book.

Stuffed chicken wing with minced shrimp - absolutely no complaints here, although the upgraded version is at Forum (富臨飯店).

Japanese mountain vegetables tempura (山菜天ぷら) - the spring mountain veggies included ostrich fern shoots (コゴミ), koshiabura (漉油) leaves, wild Japanese spikenard (山独活), Japanese angelica shoots (タラの芽), and bamboo shoots.

Fried chicken (チキン唐揚げ) - one of our friends thought I was joking when I asked RAW Yeah for fried chicken.  HELL NO!  I was dead serious!  I want me some fried chicken drumsticks!  They've been working on improving the marinade, and I think these tasted better than the ones I had last month.

Did anyone notice that not a single morsel of beef has shown up at the table? And I thought this place serves yakiniku? I quickly ordered up some beef to go with the muscular red wine I brought.

Deep-fried Hida chateaubriand cutlet (飛騨牛シャトーブリアンカツ) - YEAH, BABY!  That's what I'm talkin' about!  Lean and tender, but still got enough some marbling for taste.

Local beef chateaubriand - Sankala's request.  Lean with plenty of beefy flavors, and cooked away from the table.

Hida rib fingers (飛騨牛  中落ちカルビ) - very, very tasty.  Too bad I only got one slice...

Thankfully we finished with some melon and strawberries.

Sea salt milk ice cream with matcha jelly and azuki beans - I ended up with two portions... and very, very happy.

Tonight was, first and foremost, about a very special sake which none of us have ever tasted before...

Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Omega (大七  妙花蘭曲  𝝮), 2016 - popped the stopper for 5 minutes around 6½ hours prior to serving, then opened for 30 minutes about an hour before serving. With the first pour there was plenty of banana and rice flavors in the elegant nose. Some dryness mid-palate, and actually pretty round and supple on the palate. Around 1½ hours after serving this seemed more dry than the "regular" bottling.

Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku (大七  妙花蘭曲), 2016 - popped the stopper for 5 minutes around 6½ hours prior to serving. Also showing lots of rich rice flavors along with banana. More dry and bitter on the palate, with a slightly more fermented nose. Around 1½ hours after serving it seemed very sweet on the nose.

2018 Bass Phillip Pinot Noir Premium - very weird nose as I thought I was smelling cream of tomato soup. A little disjointed. But there was still bubblegum sweetness in the nose.

1981 Penfolds Grange - decanted 1 hour and 45 minutes after opening, and served 2 hours after opening. Pretty savory nose, but also still got tons of coconut butter, and almost like sugar cane. Wondering if I've over-decanted a little.

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