May 30, 2024

Fourth anniversary

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Four years ago, we bid a teary farewell to our beloved Bro Bro, a.k.a. Kuma the Asshole. It was tough for us to go through that in the beginning stages of the pandemic, and other tragedies would follow. But here we are today. The night we let Bro Bro cross the rainbow bridge, we had a simple dinner at Nikushou as Foursheets could not handle the simple act of cooking even some instant noodles, and we were so devastated that she couldn't think of where she wanted to eat. Nikushou and their yakiniku (焼肉) was the default for her. And we have returned every year since then, with a bottle of red wine over some simple dishes.

This year, though, felt a little different. Just a couple of days ago Foursheets received a message from the restaurant, which advised us that their eighth anniversary is also likely to be their last. We all know that the economic environment in Hong Kong is tough these days, and the hospitality industry is definitely suffering. Although this is our go-to yakiniku restaurant in town, even we have halved our visits over the last year and a half... thanks to increased travel outside of Hong Kong.

Well... we would have come here tonight regardless, but it seemed particularly poignant to show our support at this point in time.

Fruit tomato (フルーツトマト) - always good to start with something like this, and a little dab of salt brings out the sweetness of the fruit.

White asparagus tempura (白アスパラ天ぷら) - pretty big and juicy.

Deep-fried Hida tenderloin (飛騨牛ヒレカツ) - always a happy camper after a few bites of this. So tender.

Chawanmushi with sea urchin and salmon roe (雲丹とイクラの茶碗蒸し)

Thick cut Australian wagyu tongue (オーストラリア 和牛タン) - this never fails. Always a MUST whenever we come. That springy, crunchy texture on top of the tenderness is just so good.

Nozaki rump (野崎牛 ランプ) - thick cut with a very satisfying bite. Not fully-cooked and the fat flavors were really nice. Taken with some wasabi.

Nozaki chuck flap (野崎牛 ザブトン) - this is always a very tasty cut, thanks to the marbling and the thick cut.

Akaushi sirloin (あか牛 サーロイン) - This was a surprise... we generally don't get it in thick cuts like this.

Very nice and marbled, and cooked pretty rare.

The sirloin was taken with some salsa made with myoga (茗荷), perilla, and vinegar.

Nozaki rib fingers (野崎牛 中落ちカルビ) - very tender, but this was under-seasoned compared to the usual serving. Needed to dip into some sauce.

Nozaki top shoulder blade (野崎牛 ミスジ) - this is always a very tender cut thanks to the marbling, and those strips of fat sure were tasty!

Nozaki eye of knuckle (野崎牛 シンシン) - this was nice and meaty, but of course good marbling, too.

Beef tendon curry rice (牛筋カレーライス) - I needed something a little more filling and satisfying, and it's been a while since I last had the curry rice here. Slurp!

I think this was the first time I've had pork belly (豚バラ) here. Pretty tasty, too!

Grilled freshwater eel with sansho pepper sauce (うなぎ 山椒焼き) - of all the times I've had this eel here, this has to have been the best. The eel was thick, which meant as the sides were grilled to deliver the crispy texture, the center remained succulent. So good!

I finished with a slice of melon, which was a nice ending.

I brought a simple bottle of wine to dinner tonight.

2007 Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon Franschhoek - drank 15 minutes after decanting. The nose was nice and fragrant, with woodsy, cedar notes. Pretty smoky once the nose opened up, and with a swirl of the glass we had sweet fruit coming out, along with some minty notes. Still got the tannins here, and it's drinking really nicely.

Let's hope Foursheets and I will be back here a year from now.

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