May 2, 2023

Have flower, no fried chicken

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I'm desperately trying to get a little more of those little sansho flowers I love so much before the end of the season, and RAW Yeah told me that he was getting a shipment in this week. So I quickly rounded up the Birdiegolfs and made a booking for Nikushou.

Upon arrival, I inquired whether fried chicken is available. It was never on the menu here, but one way or another, the kitchen was always able to send some out for me in the past. I was informed that, no, fried chicken isn't available today. Unhappy with the situation at hand, I messaged RAW Yeah about it. In fact, even Mrs. Birdiegolf sent him messages on my behalf - asking for fried chicken.

Japanese glass shrimp and watershield (白海老  蓴菜) - pretty savory, perhaps seasoned with some dashi (出汁) in addition to ponzu (ポン酢)? Also with diced tomatoes inside.

White asparagus tempura (ホワイトアスパラガス天ぷら) - these were OK.

Deep-fried beef cutlet (牛カツ) - this came rather cold... actually beyond tepid. The batter didn't taste good... as if they were using old oil.

Crispy grilled eel with sansho flower - here we go! Those little green flowers! So happy!

The eel is normally served with a few marinated sansho (山椒) peppercorns on top, but tonight they also came with a pile of fresh sansho flowers (花山椒), which delivered their fragrance as well as numbing effects on the tongue. But I guess it's getting towards the end of the season, so this batch felt a little mild.

Bonito tataki (鰹タタキ) - the onions from Nagasaki were slightly on the dry side, but the perilla leaves were nice and made up for it. I had no idea why there was shichimi (七味) powder sprinkled on the bonito...

Butterfly brisket and tongue "pot au feu" - the butterfly brisket (崩沙腩) from "local" steer was very nice, and of course the wagyu tongue was very, very tender, too! Loved the sansho flowers lending their fragrance and light kick to it all.

Grilled dried marinated blowfish 

Grilled firefly squid (焼き螢烏賊) - these were kinda interesting.


Spring rolls with crab and white asparagus - the taste of the crab meat was pretty strong, but the whole thing was a little too wet for a spring roll.

Sea urchin somen (雲丹素麺) - I love cold somen (素麺), and someone is always happy to see sea urchin... The tomato water was nice, but not sure if it was the best match with the sea urchin.

Sirloin shabu-shabu with sansho flowers - a nice change from cooking sirloin on the grill, but it's just as tasty when done shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ). Of course the pile of sansho flowers were great, and the broth was delish!

RAW Yeah did come to the restaurant midway through our meal. No, there was still no fried chicken. And no, he did not bring any over from UZA as I had requested...

1996 Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne - nice and flinty, not too oxidized on the nose considering the age. Acidity on the high side. Really fragrant nose with marmalade and a little mineral. Lovely palate and much fresher than expected.

2019 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin Le Banc - very buttery but with good acidity and not too ripe on the palate. Kinda lean and a little grippy.

2004 Harlan Estate The Maiden - decanted for 1½ hours prior to serving. Lots of ripe and sweet fruit, plenty of smoke, very minty. Beautiful after 2 hours with a lovely woodsy nose.

I was a little miffed that I didn't get my fried chicken fix, so I ended up going to McDonald's on my way home to pick up a pack of Crispy Thighs.

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