As we inquired with the hostess as to seating availability, I noticed that the gentleman standing behind her was the Iron Chef himself. He spent much of the evening circulating around the restaurant, inquiring as to how people were enjoying their meals and generally being a real presence.
Andrew and I orginally planned to just have sushi, but after looking at the menu, we decided that we should take advantage of the "Omikase", or Chef's "Tasting Menu." And so we did. Here's what we had:
1st Course: Toro Tuna Tartare, mixed with minced fried shallots, topped with caviar and served with a small amount of broth and wasabi paste. Outstanding! It just melted in one's mouth.
2nd Course: "Live" Scallop slices with ginger, scallion and soy, and paper thin beet slices. This was also tremendous. I had never had scallop sliced thin like this, and it really added to the taste. The beet slices were also wonderful, providing a great texture and crunch (with minimal "beetiness").
3rd Course: Yellow Tail Tuna wedge with shaved dried Skipjack tuna and a small piece of dried, compressed roe, with wasu sauce and a small amount of greens. It was good, but the flavors didn't seem to blend together as well as the previous dishes.
4th Course: Black Grouper with small Japanese mushrooms and a kind of sweet soy-based sauce, wrapped in a banana leaf. It was tasty, but nothing spectacular.
5th Course: A slice of Australian "Kobe" Beef with Japanese sweet potatoes. Easily the most disappointing dish of the tasting - nothing special.
6th Course: Sushi. Five different kinds: giant clam, "baby" Toro tuna, "Exotic" tuna, halibut and needle fish. My only complaint was that they use very strong wasabi and put a little bit of it between the fish and the rice. It about took my head off! I'd like to be able to taste the fish more than the wasabi.
7th Course: Dessert. There was a kind of spice cake with pumpkin ice cream and a slice of layer chocolate cake with wasabi frosting that was very nice.
We had a "carafe" of chilled sake - a hollowed out bamboo stalk - poured into small bamboo cups. All in all, the meal was very good, but we both agreed that the first dishes were the most successful. And this was NOT cheap. On par with the cost of dining at Le Bec Fin (excluding wine), but I think that Le Bec Fin's food is more satisfying. Nonetheless, it was very good, and I'm glad we had the opportunity to try it.
So the UN Security Council has finally come around. Waiting until after the US elections, of course, to see if they could sense a weakening in the American resolve. Ha! The French have managed to delay it as long as possible - to protect their oil and arms arrangements with Iraq - and the Russians most likely now have an unwritten understanding that if they need to take any "action" against the Chechans, the US will not oppose them. But the next step in the chess game has been made.
Quiet day today. Skating in the morning, and then just hanging out at home with Ms. Suki. I feel a bit of a cold coming on, so I think it was a good idea to take it easy today.
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Quote du jour:
"Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses."
-- Rosalind Russell (1911 - 1976) US actress, philanthropist
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