Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nouveau Sake has arrived!

Denshin Nama (unpasteurized) Sake
Nouveau Sake (just made, new sake), perhaps the earliest one arriving in New York this year.
Full of fruity aroma, muscular, complex with a dry /sharp finishing. It is still rough right now, but should settle in a bit. It is most interesting to observe its changes after a month or two.
Only a very limited number of bottles are available in New York. Not to be missed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14th 2010

Japanese Blue Fish from Nagasaki

Golden Eye Snapper From Chiba

Needle Fish from Kumamoto

From Left
Wawenauk from Maine
Pacific Oyster from Washington
Shigoku from Washington

Grilled Chilean Seabass
Served with sauteed smoked bacon,soybean and sugar snap pea

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec 11th 2010

Menu from Late Night

Tanin Ramen
pork/chicken/niboshi broth/soy sauce
Slow cooked pork belly and Soft boil egg

Miso Ramen
pork/chicken/niboshi broth /spicy miso
beef randon and soft boil egg

Kinpira Katsu Burger

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3rd 2010

Stone Flounder from Chiba

Live Sea Urchin from California

Sweet Shrimp /Ama Ebi from Maine
Sweet shrimp and Japanese yam dressed with Kinzanji Miso
served with Amaebi cookie.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Venison Tasting Dinner Report

Momiji = Venison tasting dinner was on Wednesday November 24th. We sometimes call venison "Momiji" which means Japanese Maple, the most symbolic tree this season with its beautiful delicate leaves turning yellow and red.

We did a little pairing with the dinner too. From right to left:
* Plageoles, Mauzac Nature N.V, South West, France
* Romaneaux Destezet, Viognier/Rossanne 07, Rhone France
* Domaine Potel, Pinot Noir-Vieilles Vignes 07, Maison Dieu, France
* Jaboulet, Crozes Hermitage, Les Jalets o7, Rhone, France

Amuse bouche: Venison croquette with raisin purree.

Venison Carpaccio with yuzu juice, homemade rayu (chili oil), sliced Tokyo scallion and shiso.

Venison soup with lotus roots, Japanese sweet potato, Konnyaku, Tokyo scallion, leak, soy bean, carrots, foie gras, covered with pie.

Venison tataki salad, with mizuna, fennel, beats, blue cheese, chestnut and raspberry sauce.

Venison sushi:

Raw with yuzu kosho and soy sauce.
Tataki (seared) with wasabi and garlic soy sauce.

Sauteed venison, with maitake mushroom, morel, chestnut and sansho pepper.

Persimmon sampler - presentation mimicking momiji?
Raw persimmon slice, grilled slice and persimmon sorbet.

Second dessert: Chestnut cold soup with green tea sorbet, grilled rice cake and sweet red bean.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23rd 2010

Here are some seasonal special desserts:

Persimmon Sampler:

Half of the persimmon is simply cut, the other half grilled, then reassembled, served with persimmon sorbet and vanilla bean infused olive oil.

Chestnut tarte, served with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Homemade Karasumi

Karasumi = Cured Mullet Roe

This is another one of those strange Japanese delicacies. When this fish is caught, its roe is super prized, but the flesh itself much less, often just turned into fishcake. The roe is cured and becomes a premium delicacy. Ours is homemade in the restaurant.

[How to make Karasumi]

* You take the roe of the mullet and first drain out the blood.

* Cure it in salt for one day.
* Wash out the salt.
* Soak it in sake for one day.
* Dry it.

Et voila, this is Karasumi!

It is meant to be had just a little at a time, slowly, as a companion of good sake or shochu.

November 19th 2010

From Top to bottom:
* Golden Eye Snapper from Chiba
* Red Blue Fish / Nodo Kuro from Chiba
* Horse Mackerel from Fukuoka
* Spotted Sardine from Tokyo
* Pike Mackerel from Miyagi
* Shishamo from Hokkaido

This is why this fish is called Nodo Kuro.
Nodo = Throat
Kuro = Black

Nodo Kuro is one of the most expensive fish in Japan these days.
It is very fatty, sometimes called "the toro of all white fish".
It could be excellent grilled, but we serve it raw, as sushi or sashimi.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10th 2010

Grilled Pike Mackerel (Sanma)

We serve this one whole, with head, bones, even guts intact. It's a bit of a labor to eat it, but oh so worth it. The bitterness of the guts is better than any sauce.
Sanma represents the season of autumn in Japan. There is even a saying, "Do not let the wife eat the autumn eggplant and pike mackerel". A terrible saying for the wives, but it is that good.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9th 2010

Red Greenling / Hokke from Hokkaido

Normally this fish is eaten as himono (dried fish, grilled), but we are serving it as sushi or sashimi. It has a good amount of fat, yet with a nice firm consistancy as you bite, it also gets tastier as you chew. Really, a surprisingly tasty fish eaten raw.

Shishamo Smelt from Hokkaido

This is another fish that is familiar as a himono, but we serve it also raw, a super rare move, but we have to, as it is amazing as a sashimi.

Even in Japan, normally it is just
grilled, which is also really good. It is often said that the male of the shishamo is tastier, but the female carries eggs, and that is another tasty fare. Hard to decide which is better.

Its shape that resembles bamboo leaves is said to be the origin of the name Shishamo, which is bamboo leaves in the Ainu language. The Ainu are indigenous people who lived mainly in Hokkaido and Sakhalin.
Male : We served sashimi or sushi
Female which has roe: we served grill as photo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Octber 28th 2010

Obako-Sawara from Yamagata
It came with a tag indicating the name of the ship and fisherman that caught this Japanese Spanish Mackerel - The ship's name is Kan-eimaru and the fisherman Mr. Mamoru Kato. The tag also mentions that "ikijime shinkeinuki" was done, which is basically a way to kill the fish at once without stressing it (at the same time cutting off the nerves and draining the blood), so to preserve its quality at its best.

The three smaller fish beneath it are some Pike Mackerel from Aomori.

Sawara Tataki
seared sawara served with daikon onioroshi and dashi ponzu

Chiken Pot-Au-Feu (Mizu-Taki)
Bobo Chicken and winter vegetables, served with Konbu/bonito broth and black sesame sauce.

Rainbow seen from the front of the restaurant, Oct. 27th 2010.
It was raining and the sun came out - the phenomenon poetically called in Japan "the wedding of the fox".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

october 20th 2010

Beef Tongue Stew
Fond de veau base, with Akamiso and red wine,
served with homemade shiso gnocchi, burdock root, carrot and maitake mushroom

John Dory
In Japan, we say the uglier the fish, the better the taste. John Dory clearly classifies as a very tasty fish.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19th 2010

Grunt Fish from Oita

Golden Eye Snapper from Chiba

Pike Mackerel from Miyagi

Monk Fish Liver/Ankimo from NJ USA
Smoked Monk Fish Liver
served with dashi broth,black pepper and wasabi oil

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16th 2010

Horse King from Fukuoka

Red Bull Eye Snapper from Fukuoka

Mackerel From Nagasaki

Pike Mackerel from Miyagi

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15th 2010

Kosho(pepper) Snapper from Fukuoka

Gnome Fish from Nagasaki

Golden Thread from Fukuoka

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13th 2010

King Trumpet Mushroom
Chanterelle Mushroom
Enoki Mushroom
Shimeji Mushroom
Shiitake Mushroom
White Button Mushroom
Matsutake Mushroom
Maitake Mushroom
(in no particular order)

Grunt Fish from Oita

Pike Mackerel from Miyagi

Big Leaf Fin Squid/Aori Ika from Kouchi
Its taste and price is considered the king of squid in Japan.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mushroom tasting dinner report

Mushroom tasting dinner was on last Wednesday night, and the fungi were presented and enjoyed in many ways, some unexpected. Here are some photos.

Aperitif: Morel mushroom dirty martini

Amuse bouche :

* Maitake mushroom tempura
with fresh kabosu and truffle salt
* Matsutake flan
* Mixed mushroom and shrimp dumplings

Soup: White button mushroom potage with miso flavor foam

Terrine of mushrooms, bacon, root vegetables and cream cheese,

served with mushroom chips and sesame parmesan cheese cracker

Paired with Chikurin junmai warm

Papillote of tile fish and mushrooms

tile fish fillet,shimeji, enoki, shiitake mushroom, konbu kelp, kabosu wrapped in paper and grilled

paired with Domaine de Riaux, Pouilly Fume 08'

Mixed mushroom / duck comfit Pie, roasted duck breast with chive oil served with okura and carrot, with porcini salt, balsamic reduction, fond de veau with mustard

Paired with Flavio Roddolo Dolcetto d'Alba Riserva 07'

Grilled Matsutake nigiri sushi with yuzu zest and fresh kabosu

Grilled king oyster mushroom nigiri sushi with shichimi pepper and soy sauce

Maitake cookie and maitake/pine nut tarte with white mushroom ice cream

Paired with Satoh -sweet potato shochu mixed with hot water