April 12, 2023

KA.RA.A.GE. in the U.Z.A.

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For some time now I have been THAT ASSHOLE who kept asking for deep-fried dishes - especially fried chicken - every time I went to Nikushou. To the point where no visit to the restaurant would be without some fried chicken, despite the item not being on the menu. Then RAW Yeah decided to do a pop-up for a concept called UZA by Nikushou, which was him testing the waters for his new concept. That project ended up taking a lot longer than expected, but tonight I was finally able to sit down at the new UZA for our first dinner.

Pickles (漬物) - a little surprised to start with these, but we've got Japanese yam (山芋), mustard greens, garlic, and burdock (牛蒡).

Amela tomato with umeshu jelly (アメーラトマトと梅酒のジュレー) - the tomato was, of course, delicious thanks to its high sugar content, but why are we not given spoons and forced to pick up the jelly with chopsticks?! Oh the perilla flowers added a lovely fragrance to the jelly.

Sea grapes and seaweed salad (海ぶどうサラダ) - nice to help whet the appetite with some ponzu (ポン酢).

Deep-fried glass shrimp (白海老フライ) - I love glass shrimp and frying them is just awesome.

Oden (おでん) - the surprise here was the small pieces of beef tendon, which were very tender and almost melts in the mouth.

Sashimi (お作り) - we didn't provide a list of unwanted ingredients when asked, so we decided to just take the baby tuna (メジマグロ). Also had scallops and shrimp.

Eel shirayaki (鰻白焼き) - the eel from Lake Hamana (浜名湖) had a nice, spring texture, without much muddy flavors.

Chicken karaage (チキン唐揚げ) - BABY, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR! After all those times demanding to have karaage at Nikushou despite it never being on the menu, I'm finally getting this properly. Served with chicken liver sauce and Meatmom's mala (麻辣) sauce.

The batter was definitely on the sweet side, which I liked. And naturally, very, very juicy and tender. But why did we get so little fried chicken?!

Onion tempura (玉葱天ぷら) - the onion came from Awaji Island (淡路島) and naturally very, very sweet.

Fried oyster (牡蠣フライ) - the oyster from Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県) was fried together with some sea lettuce (あおさ海苔).

Steamed clams (蛤酒蒸し) - with leeks and wakame (若布).

Soup - glad to see Meatbro take his soup seriously. This didn't look like it came from a plastic pouch...

Grilled eel with rice (鰻蒲焼き) - very nice. Wish we could get more sansho (山椒) on the side at I love that.

I was a little bummed that we weren't getting more chicken as part of our set menu, so I got myself an extra item.

Grilled chicken wing (焼き手羽) - now I'm a little happier. Always happy to have chicken wing, and take the opportunity to introduce Meatbro to the Chicken Wing Beat.

Basque cheesecake

Gotta have some sake at an izakaya (居酒屋)!

Saika Junmai Daiginjo Yamadanishiki (雑賀 純米大吟醸 山田錦) - seimaibuai of 45%/50%. Very, very round and viscous on the palate. Sweet but also dry, so nicely balanced. Sweet nose with fermented rice lees.

Tedorigawa Sparkling Dot (手取川 Sparkling Dot) - seimaibuai of 60%. Tons of Musk melon and banana on the nose. Surprisingly not very sweet on the palate. Very refreshing and fruity, so it's totally up my alley.

Gunmaizumi Honjozo (群馬泉  本醸造) - seimaibuai of 60%. Very oxidized and fermented, and savory on the nose.

Very happy that RAW Yeah has opened up this place so I no longer have to ask for off-menu fried chicken. I did try to ask for off-menu yakiniku (焼肉) but, somehow, they told me it wasn't available...

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