August 24, 2021

Where's the beef?

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Two days after my last visit, I'm back in Tatler Dining Kitchen at HAUS. This time I'm checking out UZA by Nikushou and lend some support to RAW Yeah. As it turns out, I actually knew about 1/3 of the people who were dining here tonight. Hong Kong is a very small town...

We decided to take the recommended beverage pairing instead of our usual BYO, as I wanted a taste of Nikushou's umeshu.

Summer seafood and vegetables moriawase with dashi vinegar and plum wine jelly - with grilled squid, scallop, Japanese tomato, cucumber, corn, watershield, Taiwanese bamboo shoots, myoga (茗荷)... etc.

Nice bit of charring on the seafood. The dashi vinegar was definitely savory and lightly smoky.  Myoga and perilla flowers provided lovely fragrance.  The whole dish was very refreshing, with plenty of acidity to whet one's appetite.

Ume unagi chawanmushi - hidden inside the steamed egg custard was some eel from Hamanako (浜名湖), okra, lily bulb, and some phoenix nuts (鳳眼果). Topped with a layer of plum and kombu sauce which was pretty strong.

Homamade umeshu highball - made with Nikushou's house umeshu.  Rich and intense plum flavors.

Smoked egg and karasumi potato salad - I love me some Japanese potato salad, which is something I grew up with. Add a home-smoked soft-boiled egg and some shaved karasumi (カラスミ), and I'm guaranteed to be lovin' it.

Smoked A5 Hida wagyu sukiyaki with Awajishima onion - the rump came from Yonezawa (米沢), and was nice and thick but still very tender. Very satisfying to bite down on this. The onions from Awajishima (淡路島) were very sweet, and that Ranoo (蘭王) egg yolk was nice and orange.

2018 Planeta Carricante Eruzione 1614 - a little ripeness on the palate, and flinty.

Sababouzushi - with perilla leaves. This was OK, but I've had better at Nikushou.

Grilled crispy unagi with sansho fruit sauce - the signature dish of Nikushou these days... and it's not beef!  The skin was very crispy and crunchy, but it was half-separated from the flesh.

Tsubo Hassen Junmai Daiginjo (壷八仙  純米大吟醸) - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  HUGE nose of bananas, sweet and soft on the palate.

Chicken karaage with mala chicken liver mayo - pretty decent, and tasty with the mayo.

Gyoza with Saga white pork and Taiwanese 3-star scallion - Sanshing scallions (三星蔥) are always good. These gyoza (餃子) were the right size, meaning they were easily taken down in one bite - befitting the description hitokuchi (一口). Actually, more like half a bite.

2017 Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvée - not as sweet as expected, kinda mild. Nose of pollen.

Mini Hamanako unagi don with nukazuke pickles - the eel was delicious and I'm always happy eating eel from Hamanako, but what the hell happened to the steamed rice? The texture was just wrong... it was not mushy but somehow just too wet and weird.

The nukazuke (糠漬け) pickles

Grilled eel liver - these were extras for those who wanted them. Pretty nice and certainly a delicacy.

Seasonal dessert - the melon was pretty ripe and sweet. Slurp.

Takashimizu Kaonjukusei Gedatsushu Junmai Ginjo (高清水 加温熟成解脱酒) - seimaibuai of 50%. Sake meter value of -30. Oxidized nose but not over the line. Lighter on the palate.

A fun night out with Mr. and Mrs. Birdiegolf, and certainly fun to run into so many friends to our left and right...

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