April 4, 2024

No flowers in the spring

Pin It

It's been a few months but I'm finally back at Godenya (ごでんや). I usually make bookings around this time of the year as I try to catch those little sansho flowers (花山椒) during their short season, and tonight I also asked the couple of the Tiny Urban Kitchen to join us. Unfortunately for us, the season this year has been delayed just like the cherry blossoms have been, so the little flowers wouldn't be on the menu tonight.

Hotaru squid, bamboo shoot, wsabi-stem, sansyo-leaf (螢烏賊 筍 花山葵 木の芽) - this is a dish I look forward to having every year, as it is full of wonderful ingredients available in spring time. Would have been nicer to have a few little flowers on the top...

The bamboo shoots were so fresh and crunchy, and of course the firefly squid (螢烏賊) are just little flavor bombs. There was just enough wasabi stems to give the right amount of flavors to the dish.

Iseno Shiroki Junmai Nama Sparkling (伊勢の白酒 純米生活性), 2022-23 - served at 10°C. Seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 65%. Love the lactic acid and fermented rice flavors. Fruity and lively, with good sweetness and acidity.

Sakura trout, tori-gai, mandarin, canola flower, urui, ostrich fern, beans (桜鱒 鳥貝 日向夏 菜花 うるい こごみ うすい豆) - I do love the cherry salmon (桜鱒) from Aomori Prefecture (青森県) as it was lightly smoked and still on the raw side. The cockle (鳥貝) came from Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県) and the texture was just right. The sauce was made with green pea purée, and the hyuganatsu (日向夏) citrus included the pith, which added a little something different. What I also loved about the dish was the abudance of Japanese spring vegetables (春野菜) and mountain vegetables (山菜).

Yukinobosha Junmai Daiginjo Nama Genshu No. 129 (雪の茅舎 純米大吟醸 生酒原酒 第百二十九番), 2023-24 - served at 12°C. Seimaibuai of 35%. Very sweet on the attack, very clean flavors compared to the Iseno Shiroki. Slightly dry towards the finish with a bit of fermentation.

Soba, karasumi, shirauo, butterbur scape (蕎麦 唐墨 白魚 蕗の薹) - I do love the soba here... when the combination of ingredients is right.

I love the sprinkle of grated karasumi (唐墨) from Hyogo Prefecture on the noodles, and of course, I love the ice fish (白魚) from Mie Prefecture (三重県), too. The addition of butterbur buds brings a certain amount of bitterness to combine with the the savory and umami notes from the fish roe. Instead of anything being dominant and overpowering, we have balance.

Kaiun Junmai Nama (開運 無濾過 純米生), 2023-24 - served at 14°C. Seimaibuai of 55%. Very thick and viscous on the palate. Sweet but also dry on the palate.

Scampi, sakura-shrimp, white asparagus, broad bean, udo (赤座海老 桜海老 ホワイトアスパラ 空豆 独活) - I love it when I get the Japanese lobster from Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県), especially when it comes with a sauce made with sakura shrimp, as it packs so much umami. The sweetness from the white asparagus is refreshing, and contrasts with the richness of the sauce.

Okuharima Junmai Daiginjo Denju Nama (奥播磨 純米大吟醸 伝授 生), R4BY - served at 17°C. Seimaibuai of 38%. Definitely a lot of complexity and depth, with umami and some fermented flavors.

Tai-fish, fish roe, kegani, hijiki-seaweed, butterbur, sakura (真鯛 鯛子 毛蟹 ひじき 蕗 桜) - this dashi (出汁) broth was really, really delicious.

The "fishball" was made with red seabream (真鯛) from Oita Prefecture (大分県) on the outside, wrapped with a preserved cherry leaf and garnished with a cherry blossom, but inside there was also some Japanese horsehair crab (毛蟹) from Hokkaido, red sea bream roe (鯛子), butterbur (蕗) stem, and hijiki (ひじき). Always such an interesting and tasty combination.

Hikomago Junmai Wood Cask (ひこ孫 純米 樽酒), 2020-21 - served at 48°C. Seimaibuai of 55%. The flavors from the wooden cask was pretty strong, and this was more savory on the palate.

Abalone, yam, morel, pine nut, rice (鮑 長芋 モレルマッシュルーム 松の実 米) - the perennial favorite returns, and tonight the abalone came from Saga Prefecture (佐賀県). I could never get tired of that abalone liver sauce, especially when you've also got morel mushrooms and fragrant pine nuts in the mix. So rich.

Tamazakura Junmai Nama Nigori (玉櫻 とろとろにごり 純米生), R5BY - served at 11°C. Seimaibuai of 70%. There was a good amount of sweetness, but a little dry at the same time.

Kinki-fish, onion, Brussels sprouts, seaweed (吉次 新玉葱 芽キャベツ 若布 すじ青海苔) - the broadbanded thornyhead (吉次) from Hokkaido is always perfectly grilled to char the skin while melting the fat of the fish, releasing that perfect combination of fat and smoke in the mouth. As always, the seaweed in the broth really brings so much umami that I always try to see if I can drain my bowl until I see the bottom.

Suwaizumi Awa Yamadanishiki Junmai (諏訪泉 阿波山田錦 純米), H20BY - served at 49°C. seimaibuai of 60%. This was really fragrant on the nose. Nice and relatively clean flavors.

Somen noodles (素麺) - my favorite topping for these noodles! Sakura shrimp!

I've said time and again that I would love me 3 or 4 bowls of this, but I never ask Goshima-san... Sometimes Foursheets would be nice and offer me her bowl, but not tonight.

Caramel ice cream, panna cotta, brownie, strawberry, apple with sake (キャラメルアイス ミルクプリン ブラウニー 苺 林檎と酒) - as usual, a sweet sake was poured onto our dessert, and tonight the cloudy Dobuqueur brought along a high level of acidity as it was made with apple juice.

Always a delicious meal here with an interesting pairing, and I'm glad we caught up with our friends tonight... as we haven't been able to see both of them together the last few times we met up. Here's to more good meals together!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map