Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30th 2010

Whole Baby Horse-Mackerel Escabeche

Grilled lamb rack
served with grilled vegetable and soy-ratatouille

Black Snapper from Nagasaki
Red Bull Eye Snapper from Nagasaki
Horse King from Nagasaki
Spotted Parrot Fish from Nagasaki

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29th 2010

Gnome Fish from Fukuoka

Young Stripe Bass (Fucco) from Fukuoka

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yoshinogawa Pairing Dinner coming up May 11th

We now have some details of the next pairing dinner.
It will be on May 11th, starting at 8pm -
We are continuing with the single sake brewery series, this time the focus is Yoshinogawa Brewery with some 460 years of history, from Niigata which is a snowy region well known for its sake and rice.

$60 including the sake (but tax and gratuity is not) - It is not only a wonderful deal but also a real fun experience! If you have friends, great! But fear not even if you cannot find anybody to come with you - we will pair you with some friendly guests at the communal table - Food, sake, new encounter!! What more could we ask for?
Well, more would be that the brewery is going to be present at the dinner so you will have the opportunity to interact with the sake-maker.

As usual, it is going to be a reservation and prepayment required event - Please contact us to reserve your seats, and the sooner the better, seats are limited... Thanks!

Now, to some details of the dinner, or what is known so far of it...
* Amuse-bouche is TBD, but to be paired with Yoshinogawa Daiginjo
* Appetizer: Bonito salad paired with Echigo Junmai
* Entree #1: Grilled rack of lamb paired with Yoshinogawa Gensen Karakuchi
* A little soup...
* Entree #2: Sushi nigiri, paired with Yoshinogawa Gokujo Ginjo
* Dessert: TBD, but to be paired with Yoshinogawa Ginjo.

If you are interested, please contact us at or 718-384-2152.

April 27th 2010

Bluefin Searobin from Chiba

Stripe Bass from Kanagawa
Blue Fish(Kuro Mutsu) from Nagasaki
Greenling from Aomori

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25th 2010

Misozuke Foie Gras Terrine with Apple Miso Puree

Ginger Creme-brulee
with soy sauce ice cream

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24th 2010

Grilled squab with buckwheat rice,
Squab leg comfit with squab liver and gizzard pate

Grilled blue shrimp with pine nut vinagrette

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23rd 2010

Ugly Snapper from Nagasaki

Black Snapper from Nagasaki

Baby Yellowtail from Fukuoka

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tama No Hikari pairing dinner on April 22nd

April's pairing dinner was conducted last Wednesday with Tama No Hikari Brewery's sake as its theme. This Kyoto brewery sticks to making Junmai type of sake.

Amuse bouche: Kampachi carpaccio with broccolini ohitashi, mentaiko and yuzusko --- paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai Ginjo Mizore sake.

Mizore means a mixture of snow and rain - "slush" would be what it wants to say here. The story is that there was an event held at a tea house in Kyoto, and as there were not enough cold sake, they put it in the freezer (which is normally a taboo), an action that made the sake much too cold, however it was good. So they decided to market it as such. The cold temperature gives the sake a little bitterness at the end, which is here echoed in the broccolini's bitterness.

Appetizer: Seared scallop with pine nut vinaigrette --- paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai Ginjo (served cold).

This is the same sake as the first one, but served in a different temperature. It is overall smooth and dry, which balances out well with the sweetness of the scallop. The nutty flavor from the pine nut also echoes well with the umami in this sake of this temperature.

Assorted Sushi Rolls: Spicy tuna topped with sea urchin, grilled salmon topped with salmon roe, hamachi mango topped with wasabi tobiko, sweet potato tempura topped with broom seeds (tonburi) --- paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai Daiginjo.

This sake has a sturdy body with a good amount of floral notes and a slight sweetness of rice. The richness of the roes makes a good companion to its floral aroma and sweetness.

Entree: Squab - grilled breast, leg confit, liver & gizzard pate, on top of buckwheat rice, pumpkin and cabbage dressed with the jus from the squab --- paired with Tama No Hikari Yamahai Junmai Ginjo (served warm).

This is a big challenge, as we are not accustomed to eating squab in Japan.

The strength of the Yamahai, its smoky aroma and earthy flavor pairs very well with the mild but gamey taste of the squab. This sake was served warm, which causes it to lose some sharpness but instead gaining more aroma, its earthyness amplified, along with some spicy accent at the end, all of which enveloped beautifully the squab meat.

Dessert: Kinako (Soybean flour) macaron with carrot jam + green tea madeleine --- with Yamahai Junmai Ginjo (served cold).

Served cold, the same sake is now sharp, clean, crisp and very well balanced (Personally, I may prefer this sake served cold...).

The next pairing dinner is planned to be on May 11th - more details to come soon!

April 22nd 2010

Gnome Fish from Fukuoka

Renko Snapper from Saga

Spring Snapper from Fukuoka

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20th 2010

Gnome Fish from Hachijyo Island
Red/blue Fish (Aka Mutsu) from Hachijyo Island
In Japanese, Aka is Red and Mutsu is Blue Fish
Spotted Parrot Fish from Ogasawara Island

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A little story about sushi rice

Sushi is not all about the fish. Rice is also a very important component.

You may go to different sushi restaurants and notice the difference of rice at each place. Each one of us have different tastes too, so it could be a fun thing to go around a few places to compare and find your own favourite sushi rice.

For our sushi rice, we mix couple of different kind of rice, couple of different vinegars, then salt and sugar.

It is important to cook the sushi rice in the minimum amount of water possible. This allows the rice to absorb the vinegar mixture afterwards - This is also to achieve a good texture and taste balance between the fish and the rice.

So normally, you use less water than when you cook white rice regularly.

This is a personal opinion, but I like Koshihikari for regular white rice, and Sasanishiki for sushi rice (less moisture).

Rice used for sake making is a different type (not so tasty to eat but oh so good for sake! How was this all figured out...?). Sake makers try to avoid the rice absorbing water, counting even seconds with a stop watch when washing the rice.

Back to the sushi rice - Sushi rice cooked in the minimum water possible requires some techniques to handle. If you are going to make sushi rolls at home for a party with friends, it may be easier to make those rolls with rice cooked normally.
Well, it's a long road to become a sushi master...

April 18th 2010

Japanese Red Snapper Carpaccio
: orange, Yuzu Kosho, Ponzu Mousse

Sauteed Frog legs with watercress/ garlic puree

Green Terrine : Fennel puree, Broccolini puree wrapped with carrot, served with goat cheese and tomato miso

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16th 2010

Parrot Fish from Nagasaki.

Red Ruby Fish (this is not ruby snapper)/Hachibiki from Nagasaki.

We had never seen this fish before, not even our sushi chef who is from this region.
Before cleaning the fish, nobody expected red meat. Red, but with much more transparency than tuna. It has a good amount of fat and Umami, but not so much of iron like flavor as in tuna or the usual red fish.

Rudder Fish from Nagasaki.

Black Snapper from Nagasaki.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15th 2010

Bronzini from Greece.

The smaller ones beneath are Kohada from Kumamoto, Japan.

Kohada is often the signature item to check out in a Tokyo style sushi restaurant in Japan. The sushi chef prides oneself for the way he serves the kohada with his own recipe. They marinate it in salt and vinegar, but depending on the season, the size of the fish and its fat content, they change the recipe and time of marination. It's a subtle thing.
Back in the time before refrigerated transportation system was available, all fish had some work done for its preservation. Despite all the changes in the transportation possibility, there are still items served the old fashion way - simply because they are really tasty this way. Next time you have the chance, imagine yourself back in time when you try our kohada, zuke, nihamaguri, fluke kobujime and sea-eel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13th 2010

Amber Jack / Kampachi from Miyake Island

Seabream / Ishi dai from Niijima
In Japan, we call King of Snapper

Gnome Fish / Me Dai from Miyake Island

Golden Eye Snapper / Kinme Dai from Niijima Island

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time for another pairing dinner

Next week on Wednesday April 21st @ 8pm is April's pairing dinner.

This time around, the theme will be sake made by a brewery in Kyoto, Tama No Hikari Shuzo.

The brewery will be present at the dinner to introduce each different sake being served - Which means it is also an opportunity to talk directly with the maker of the sake while you are tasting it - and moreover, to have paired dishes meant to elevate the experience with the particular sake. What more could we hope for?

The dinner including the sake is only $55! (tax and gratuity is not included).
Reservation and prepayment is necessary to attend this dinner, so please contact us if you are interested.

Here is a peek at the menu.

Amuse-bouche / Kanpachi carpaccio paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai Ginjo mizore sake

Appetizer / Seared scallop with pine nut vinaigrette paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai

Assorted sushi rolls / Spicy tuna topped with sea urchin, grilled salmon topped with salmon roe, hamachi mango topped with wasabi tobiko, sweet potato tempura topped with broom seeds - paired with Tama No Hikari Junmai Daiginjo

Entree / Grilled squab with buckwheat rice paired with Tama No Hikari Yamahai Junmai (served warm)

Dessert / Macaron with carrot jam, sake to be paired with is TBA

We plan on hosting pairing dinners monthly, but each time, the theme will be different. Either a different brewery, a different region, not only sake but it could be wine, it could be a paritcular ingredient.... The possibility is endless, but it will never be the same!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Grilled bronzini fillet and collar served with grilled Japanese eggplant and shimeji mushroom.
Just grilled with salt and pepper. Sometimes, simple is the best. Through it, you understand the quality of the ingredient and the chef's skill. In other words, simplicity cannot hide anything behind.

Friday, April 9, 2010

March 9th 2010

Gnome Fish from Fukuoka
Rudder Fish from Oita
Red Bull Eye Snapper from Nagasaki

cheese sake pairing - 2

Trifulin with Manotsuru-Genshu.

In case you wonder if sake with cheese could really go together, how would you imagine truffles with sake? You will be surprised.

Cana de Oveja with Masumi-Arabashiri.

The sharpness of sheep cheese is here paired with the subtle sweetness, freshness and tropical fruits note of Arabashiri.

Rocbleu with Kakurei-Plum Sake work well together too. But this is a bit classic. I think that blue with unfiltered sake work well in general too, but have not found any other sake making good friends with blue yet. If anybody has a suggestion, please let me know -

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 9th 2010

Beef croquet with coffee jelee : Beef short rib, potato, carrot, baby onion cooked in red wine for 3 days.

Which collar is best? Japanese Red Snapper, Tuna or Yellowtail?

Where is spring?

Vichyssoise - chilled potato/leak soup

A month ago, we were complaining about the cold weather, then we had spring to enjoy for couple weeks, and is it already summer now? It is so hot!

So we are right now serving Vichyssoise soup with chive oil and tonburi marinated in soy sauce on top.

April 8th 2010

Yokowa from Nagasaki
Yokowa is .............
Baby Yellowtail from Fukuoka

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

March 7th 2010

Yari Squid from Long Island
Sea Eel from Tokyo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6th 2010

Kibinago from Nagasaki

Kibinago is Blue Sprat. We will serve as sashimi with shiso/miso vinegar
and as sashimi salad with yuzu kosho dressing.

Japanese Spanish Mackerel from Toyama
Rudder Fish from Kouchi
Ugly Snapper from Kouchi

Black Snapper from Chiba
White Squid from Totori
Horse Mackerel from Oita
Needle fish from Kumamoto

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2nd 2010

Red bull Eye Snapper from Nagasaki
Black Snapper from Fukuoka
Rudder Fish from Oita
Spring Snapper from Oita
Red Cornet Fish from Nagasaki

Baby yellowtail from Fukuoka
Flying Fish from Yaku Island
Gnome Fish from Fukuoka