August 22, 2021

One night only

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Ever since Tatler Dining joined forces with Mercedes-Benz to set up Tatler Dining Kitchen at HAUS, they have been hosting a variety of chefs for varying periods of time at this venue.  I was lucky enough to book seats for the first event featuring Antimo Marie Merone, but I haven't been on top of things to book any other gig since then.  To be honest, I'm not sure I've missed all that much.

As I browsed through the 'net while waiting for my lunch one day, I happened to come across news about a collaborative pop-up between my friends at Ta Vie 旅 and Godenya (ごでんや). I am big fans of both restaurants, and I got pretty excited about the possibilities created by them joining forces. However, given that this was only for 1 night, I didn't think I would have to any chance of booking seats for it. But since I got time to kill as I sat there at Fini's waiting for my Caesar salad and linguini fini pomodoro, I figured I'd try my luck. To my surprise, I managed to grab a table of 4 for the time slot I wanted.

It's Sunday night, and the other pop-up in residence at Tatler Dining Kitchen was taking a break. The main entrance to HAUS was locked since the shop downstairs was closed, so we went around and entered through the back...

There were two menus on the table. One looked like what we are used to seeing at Godenya, and it looked reasonable enough with 5 courses. The second menu, though, was handwritten and hand-drawn. We would soon realize, after the food started to arrive, that THIS was our actual menu in terms of food...

Sake and breads: the bread - pain de campagne and rustic bread. This was kinda unbelievable because we are starting the meal with not one, not two, but three big chunks of bread...

Sake and breads: truffle honey butter - spread over pain de campagne. Needless to say this was very, very tasty... and someone just lapped up at least half the supply of the butter alloted to the four of us.

Daigo no Awa (醍醐の泡), 2020-21 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 90-93%. Sparkling. Nice and fruity like juice, with a little bit of lactic acid. Low alcohol at 7%.

Sake and breads: foie gras and dried figs terrine - look at the size of that chunk of foie gras! And it's a serving for one person! Taken on a slice of brioche,  I didn't even bother to spread the terrine on the bread, and instead just laid the foie gras on top of the brioche and chomped down. This combination alone was very filling...

Sake and breads: ratatouille - taken with the rustic bread. In addition to the usual ingredients, Sato-san added some okra.

Akishika Motoshibori Yamahai Junmai Nama (秋鹿  酛しぼり  山廃純米生), 2020-21 - with a seimaibuai of 70% and sake meter value (日本酒度) of -72. Very fermented nose with savory notes. Fragrant, sweet and fruity.

Sake and breads: mussels with parsley-garlic butter - just like escargot à la Bourguignonne, but with a tiny of tomato paste.  Pretty nice.

Inemankai Junmai Nigori (伊根満開 純米生にごり), 2020-21 - I've seen the "regular", clear version of the sake, but this was a special batch of nigori (にごり). Very intense flavors of fermented rice, very nice and sweet on the palate.

Sake and mushrooms: onion gratin soup with "black truffle" - traditional onion soup with Gruyère and a big ass chunk of croûton. Topped with slices of black truffle. So... yeah... we get ANOTHER piece of bread.

Juji Asahi Junmai Daiginjo Jukeseishu (十旭日  純米大吟醸  熟成酒), 2002-03 - seimaibuai of 45%. Very fragrant, very oxidized, very savory on the nose. Really fragrant in the mouth after the soup, with an aftertaste that was almost like longan. Really round on the palate, with a long finish that was very nice. This was very serious stuff.

Sake and mushrooms: porcini omelet - we were told that this was a 'French style' omelet with porcini and potato inside, but honestly this looked more like a Spanish tortilla to me...

Sake and meat: lamb shoulder and white beans stew - OK, so I kinda got a preview of this dish from Sato-san's IG stories earlier in the day. The lamb shoulder and the lamb ribs were absolutely fantastic, and the haricots along with haricots verts were beautiful. To be honest, I could have dispensed with most of the previous courses - not that they weren't delicious - and just taken a double or triple portion of this. In fact, just gimme this and some bread, and I would have a big smile on my face for the rest of the night.

Kotori no Saezuri Junmai Ginjo (小鳥のさえずり 純米吟醸), 2008-09 - seimaibuai of 50%. Served warm. Nice and fermented flavors.

Sake and meat: "classic" duck leg confit - we were so, sooo happy to see duck confit, and this was a portion shared between two people which came with potatoes and button mushrooms. However, we were just so stuffed at this point that we asked to take half the leg home. We just didn't have more room for this in our stomachs, especially given how much more food was coming our way.

Togo Kimoto Junmai Nama (東郷 生酛 純米生), 2018-19 - seimaibuai of 88%. Smoky, fermented nose. A little savory, and worked well with the duck confit.

Sake and curry!!!: Ta Vie original wagyu curry - I was lucky enough to have tasted the Ta Vie wagyu curry a couple of times before, as Sato-san has given his experimental curries to me as a gift before. I loved that the chunks of beef had been browned to impart some charred flavors and also to release the fat so it could add to the richness of the curry. I was already so full, but how could I not finish every last morsel that was in my bowl?! That would be simply unimaginable!

Minshuku Tono Doburoku Nondo (民宿とおの どぶろく Nondo), 2020-21 - very sweet and fruity, with lactic acid. This was meant to pair with the rice of the curry.

2016 Afruge No.1 - seimaibuai of 65%. Aged in red wine barrels. Very oxidized and savory on top of sweetness. This was meant to pair with the beef in the curry.

Sake and French pastry: tarte aux "南華李" local plum - an old favorite in terms of flavors but now in tarte form instead of a far breton. Made with Nanhua plums (南華李).

Sake and French pastry: gâteau au chocolat - made with some Whisky and also date purée, and so, sooooo tasty. I normally wouldn't choose a chocolate dessert over one made with fruits, but I'd take a second serving of this any day...

Hana Tomoe Nature × Nature Yamahai x Yamahai White (花巴  ナチュール  ×  ナチュール 山廃  ×  山廃  白), 2019-20 - seimaibuai of 70%. With a sake meter value of -76. Also a little savory on the nose, but somewhat sweet on the palate, and almost a little marmalade. Very easy to drink.

Suwaizumi Junmai Koshu (諏訪泉 純米古酒), 1989-90 - seimaibuai of 60%. Really, really savory, with a little sweetness but much more umami. So very happy that Goshima-san poured us this one.

It was unbelievable. The four of us almost died. Well, at least I almost died from being fed too much food. I never imagined that after Uwe and Maxime - and of course The Man in White T-shirt - there would be another chef in town trying to kill me... and I certainly didn't expect it to be Sato-san!  Very, very lucky to have scored a table for this event, and also lucky to still be alive...

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