So where did we leave off. Oh yes, the sake was flowing…
… and flowing…
And the food was still flowing as well. And the proportions suddenly grew making me wish I had worn an elastic waist skirt that night. Course 5 included sashimi adorned with daikon cut in the shape of falling cherry blossom petals served on dish featuring a willow and a bridge. So appropriate for the season. The sashimi was accompanied with a seaweed soup and a small side dish which my memory has failed to remember exactly what it was. I do know it was very very tasty.
Up next was a few bites of grilled eel. We were all chatting and interested in the technique used to prepare the eel. It was very soft and not chewy at all. At which point Kimiko magically produced a book full of incredible photos from the restaurant. She showed us a 2 page spread featuring preparation of this specific dish. The cutting technique is critical to its success. And the flavor imbibed from the grilling was extraordinary.
Up next was a tuna sushi roll and a piece of pickled myoga ginger. Forget the typical slices of ginger that are served with everyday sushi. That little chunk of ginger was spectacular.
I am not an anime otaku by any stretch, but when this single piece of sushi arrived I couldn’t help but channel Haruhi from Ōran Kōkō Hosuto Kurabu. FATTY TUNA!!! Need I say more?
Surely, I thought, the fatty tuna must be the climax of the meal. I was wrong. More dishes were still ahead of us. Next up, a slice of grilled fish. The grilling gave it a wonderful bouquet and a distinct texture. Still soft on the inside but moist on the outside. Adi raved about this dish the entire cab ride home. As he is our resident chef, I think that says something.
I confess, when this mystery bowl arrived I was nervous. How on earth am I going to eat any more.
And then more and more and more plates kept coming. And then a giant nabe of rice too! The good news, we had reached the grand finale. The bad news, it was a delicious conclusion and I just couldn’t eat it all. Lucky for me, Asumi had no issues and helped me out. Dōmo Asumi, dōmo.
Ah, but wait, there’s more. No meal is complete without dessert. This evening it was a slice of musk melon and a strawberry topped with a sauce and mint. おいしいですね！
Maybe I should have split this post into 3 parts. Cause even dessert was turning out to be a serious affair. This dish has a little story to it. On the surface it looks like a straight forward manjū, bun filled with anko bean paste. But this little treat was especially made using Dassai sake lees. A very thoughtful and special touch for our dinner party.
What is Going On???
As I mentioned in the last post, while this all looks very posh and proper, the giggles in our little private room were anything but. There were jokes relating those in our party’s ability to consume sake as compared to Starbuck’s serving sizes. I am a “tall” if you must know. And some very interesting attempts at translating using a combination of Japanese, English and French. But those are our secrets and shale not be spoken about further.
However, it seems I have some gaps in memory not just about the food. My camera captured a few shots where I am still not exactly sure what was going on. Looks pretty serious!
And so that concludes our evening at Aoyagi. I’ve been fortunate enough to dine at some of the best restaurants in NYC. Sorry Daniel, but I did just find my new, most favorite restaurant on the planet.
Minato, Tokyo 106-0041, Japan