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