June 16, 2021

1/2 no niku

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At our last gathering, I promised a group of friends from my high school that I'd introduce them to Nikushou.  We were talking about yakiniku, and while there have been a number of places in town serving up premium Japanese beef, RAW Yeah has spent quite a lot of time and effort straying away from what is expected from a yakiniku joint - which makes the experience more interesting for me.

I was discussing menu options with the boss, and did remark that while I always enjoy it when he's in his 不務正業 mode - often at the request of people like me - my friends are in fact looking forward to eating beef.  So we agreed that the menu should be "at least 50% beef"...

Chilled Japanese snow crab, vinegar jelly (ズワイ蟹 土佐酢ジュレ) - always a great dish to start a meal with. The acidity from the jelly works so well with the cold, sweet crab meat and makes it a real refreshing dish, and also whets the appetite. We've got some crab tomalley (蟹味噌) in the mix, too.

Grilled eel with sansho sauce - always pretty nice, with crispy side while the flesh is soft and moist. My friends were pretty impressed. As for me, I still would want the sansho (山椒) peppers to have a little more kick... but I'm clearly in the minority.

Sea urchin in salt water (塩水雲丹) - from Yoichi (余市). Taste was more pure.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - from Hamanaka (浜中町). Flavors were more intense with more iodine.

Stuffed chicken wing with minced shrimp and corn - this was pretty damn good, as the paper-thin skin was crispy and the springy stuffing succulent, with a few extra kernels of sweet corn inside for texture.

Abalone and white asparagus tempura (鮑とホワイトアスパラの天ぷら) - the abalone tempura was pretty nice, but the white asparagus from Landes was particularly nice.

Finally, we start up the grill and it's time for some beef!

Thick cut Australian wagyu tongue (オーストラリア 和牛タン) - always good. Never any reason to complain.

We now interrupt our regular programming for some more deep-fried stuff...

Fried chicken (チキン唐揚げ) - heh heh heh... RAW Yeah knows I love fried chicken...

Hida A5 uwasuji (A5飛騨牛 ウワスジ) - pretty thick cut, and a little smoky from grilling.

Hida A5 top shoulder blade (A5飛騨牛 ミスジ) - this was sooooo tender. LOVE IT! Always one of my favorite cuts.

Hida A5 chuck flap (A5飛騨牛 ザブトン) - another thick cut, with lots of marbling.

Chateaubriand and clay pot rice with corn (シャトーブリアンととうもろこしの釜飯) - I love the look of beef cubes over a pot of rice.

Tonight the rice was pretty moist, and the white corn from Hokkaido was superb. The "local" chateaubriand was very tender.

Nikushouyaki sirloin (肉匠焼き サーロイン) - always happy to finish up with this. That big slice of sirloin is always really satisfying, especially with the egg sauce. Perfect when served over steamed rice, and one of the guys asked for a bigger bowl of rice...

Mini Hida beef tendon curry rice (飛騨牛筋カレーライス) - I didn't think one of the guys had enough to eat, so I asked for the curry. I would still want this to be thicker in terms of consistency, and I miss the larger chunks of tendon from my previous visits. Still pretty happy, though.

Our fruits tonight included a slice of Yubari melon (夕張メロン), muscat from Okayama Prefecture (岡山県), and Kyoho grape from Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県).

Sea salt milk ice cream with matcha jelly and azuki beans - a meal here just doesn't seem complete without this.

We were, once again, pretty weak in terms of alcohol. Maybe the guys just don't like what I bring to dinner...

Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Hinokishi (醸し人九平次 純米大吟醸 彼の岸) 2017 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 30%. Kinda soft and sweet on the palate, not too bland, with a slight taste of bitterness.

2004 BOND Matriarch - decanted for 1½ hours prior to serving. Very sweet with lots of coconut, and a little smoky. Good concentration.

I think the boys were happy. During dinner there was talk of going to Mickey D's to grab some apple pie for dessert, and someone even talked about a double cheeseburger... But after this dinner, none of us had much room left...

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