August 22, 2023

Valentine double

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It's Qixi Festival (七夕) today and Foursheets has decided not to cook, so I asked her to pick a place for us to eat out. Koji Charcoal Grill (菊志炭燒) is a place where we've enjoyed some tasty food, and it's simple, straightforward enough. I was pretty happy to go along with Foursheets' selection to make things easy.

In the afternoon we were pinged by Fergie, who announced that they were suddenly free this evening for that get together we had talked about for a couple of weeks. We decided to invite them along and open a couple of bottles together. They had never been to the restaurant, but the menu is self-explanatory and they just needed to know which dishes we would consider "must order". And we ended up ordering a storm, in multiple rounds.

This dip is still as irresistable as ever. My portion was pretty much gone by the end of the meal as I kept shoving bits of it in my mouth, whether it was on top of some food or on its own.

Soy-marinated neon squids (ほたるいか沖漬け)

Chilled Japanese tomato (冷しトマト) - we were happy enough with the tomato and didn't bother touching the sesame sauce (胡麻たれ) that came with it.

Mozuku seaweed (もずく酢) - always love mozuku and the acidity from the vinegar.

Hiroshima oyster fritters (広島産牡蠣フライ) - these were really satisfying.

Deep-fried baby white shrimps (白海老唐揚げ) - deep-fried shrimp is always a good idea, especially when they're Japanese glass shrimp.

Grilled shishto peppers (焼き獅子唐辛子)

Ginko nuts (銀杏塩焼き)

Pork belly wrapped soft boiled egg (半熟玉子豚巻き) - I liked the egg with liquid yolk, but I didn't realize there was bacon on the outside...

Chicken wing with salt (手羽先塩焼き) - chicken wing, chicken wing, hotdog and baloney...

Grilled wagyu ox tongue (焼き和牛タン)

Grilled chicken skin (焼き鶏皮) - VERY crunchy.

Charcoal grilled tuna cheek (まぐろほほ炭火焼) - this was pretty decent.

Charcoal grilled skirt steak (和牛ハラミ炭火焼) - MUST.ORDER.ALWAYS. So much flavor here.

Charcoal grilled Japanese wild eel (炭火日本天然うなぎ蒲焼き)  

Grilled okra (オクラ焼き)

Charcoal grilled miso-marinated pork belly (炭火豚バラ味噌焼き) - what's not to like about fatty pork belly?! Familiar flavors thanks to the miso marinade.

Grilled tofu (焼き厚揚げ豆腐)

Grilled corn (焼き玉蜀黍)

Charcoal grilled wagyu tenderloin (和牛A5ヒレ炭火焼) - we decided that we needed more beef.

Nice and fatty. Slurp.

Chicken gizzard (鶏砂肝) - meh.

Chicken thigh meat (鶏もも)

Sardine fish cake (特製いわしさつま揚げ) - this is always very tasty, since it's made with sardines.

Grilled sea urchin onigiri (雲丹焼きおにぎり) - I made sure to order this since they put sea urchin in the onigiri (おにぎり) and not just on top. Always a good idea.

Herring roe on kelp (子持ち昆布) - so happy to find this at a place other than Hidden (秀殿). Here it's served with some mayo and katsuobushi (鰹節) on top. Very nice.

Someone didn't want to mix sake with wine so we only brought reds... and coincidentally from the same vintage.

2011 The Mascot - double-decanted and served around 1½ hours later. Lots of sweet, jammy fruit on the nose while decanting. Pretty soft on the palate now, and still very sweet on the palate. Definitely has the Harlan style where there's a lot of sweet fruit, but also not quite warm and hot like other Napa cabs... just slightly "French".

We made the mistake of getting restaurant staff to decant Fergie's wine. I normally don't do that unless I know the staff is competent. Well... the entire bottle went into the decanter, including all the sediment...

2011 Kapcsándy Estate Cuvée - decanted and drank 1 hour and 15 minutes later. Very ripe and jammy, with lots of vanilla oak on the nose. Much more sweet, candied nose.

A very happy and relaxing evening out with friends. Should do this more often.

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