Okay, to be honest, I had this one on the 18th of June, but was away to Penang and Bangkok for 2 weekends before coming back and I better write this up or people will think I have gone to heaven after eating one too many decadent Kaiseki (not to mention poor Chef Ricky in distress if he loses one of his 'regulars')
Starters: Peanut Beancurd with Wasabi, Boiled Spinach with beancurd
Make no mistake, that is tofu pok you see in the spinach. Definitely a better sponge to soak up the sauce with every mouthful, and thinly sliced that it is still springy yet breaks apart easily with every bite.
Love the peanut beancurd, so much more sweeter than the sesame beancurd, like some sort of refined peanut butter jam without the sugar.
Soup: Soup with Prawn Dumpling
More prawn, slurps. What else can I say? Actually the trace of the sudachi lime in the soup left me with a unique aftertaste. Something like a cross between a raw brinjal and bittergourd. Still trying to puzzle it out after all this while.
Sashimi: Surf Clam, Haji, Toro, Flying Fish, Octopus & Barracuda
Fresh surf clam sashimi, the whole clam too. I am getting spoiled like a baby. It's sooo fresh that it taste bloody bloody good (because they have to kill it to open up the shell).
Skipping on pass the usual octopus and toro fare, I quite like the gleaming haji they have this time; and the flying fish on the right hand side of the plate, that was excellent. It was very very chewy, no wonder those things can jump into the air and look like they are flying.
Towards the end, the sashimi chef realized that he left something off my plate and hurriedly whipped up some barracuda sashimi (yes, that fierce snapping fish is now dinner on my plate. Very very tender surprisingly, almost light like sea bream but much more robust if the meat is redder.
Distraction: Flambe TaiMiso & Wasabi Maize Dip
Time to make up for a booboo the last time. The Thai Miso is actually TaiMiso, which is Miso made with Tai (Sea Bream) in the fermentation process. Somehow it comes across as much more sweeter than regular miso (most locally imported miso have too much salt to preserve it) after being flambe; not to mention being sticky like Natto. Think of it as satay sauce jam (I am not kidding).
Also had a wasabi maize dip made from the skin of the wasabi roots fermented with maize seeds, initially you taste the sweetness of the maize before the hit sneaks up to the back of your throat and whams you down the gullet (Apologies for no photos of the deadly poison)
Steamed dishes: Eggplant with Beancurd Skinroll & Octopus
Wow, I never knew that octopus cooked right would melt in your mouth (remember all those chewy leathery octopus meat you get all of steamboats). This is the total opposite, no chewing required, just push the meat with your tongue against the top of your mouth and it breaks apart. Good thing that the mustard is there to make sure you chew (although it hit my nose this time)
The eggplants were just right this time round, tender yet firm enough and the beancurd skin rolls, full of the sauce so alternating bites was a breeze.
Grilled dishes: Adult Ayu, Cod Liver with Cream Cheese, Gizzardfish sushi, Yam, Grilled Chicken & Gobo roots
Now for something exotic. a full grown ayu fish (too bad it is a farmed fish, the wild one cost U$50, which I should insist to be served to me :P). Almost every part of the fish was edible sans the bonehead (:P), even the bones were dipped fried to a crunchy texture. Grilled covered in salt, the natural taste of the fish was magnified tenfold, subtle but sweet.
Kudos to the gizzard fish sushi wrapped in leaf, fragrant yet tantalizing (would be more so if I knew how to open the leaf more gracefully and not let the fishmeat flop out) and the sides of the grilled chicken, yam and gobo roots. I will take this chance to praise the combo of cod liver dip with cream cheese: two pungent really do make a good side dish. I am loving this!
Fried dish: Anago Eel filet Tempura with Pumpkin & Chili served with curry salt
Full filleted Anago eel tempura style, I will admit that the bigger pieces concentrated the flavour in the middle while being a bit bland on the outside (compared to previous servings of this ingredient). As for the veggies, love the pumpkin tempura more than the chili tempuras. Chef Ricky can't keep secrets from me any longer, that curry salt was made with adabi curry powder (:P)
Main course: Nigiri Sushi 5 ways.
The Gyuduck sushi tasted much better this time and was artfully sculpted to bring out maximum flavour. (Believe it or not,) this was my first time having octopus sushi and the knifework ridges on the meat made this piece a synch to eat.
I love the haji sushi and flying fish sushi because they sashimi chef did bring out their best flavour with the perfect cut for the sushi. The toro, however, being freshly thawed was watery (to the touch and taste) and was twice the size of the sushi rice (not the best time to try Toro, I guess)
Dessert: Black Sesame pudding & Assorted Fruits
Everytime I came here, my fruit platter gets bigger and bigger. The black sesame pudding tasted just as good as the last one, couldn't ask for more actually (maybe I should ask them for a bigger slice of the pudding next time)
Bonus: Dragon Roll
I was pining for some Futomaki, so the sashimi chef whipped up a dragon roll to curb the craving. Hehehe, free is good, especially with 4 slices of dragon roll. Each one was definitely a mouthful, which satisfied my Futomaki craving by the end of the last piece.
Bring on next month's Kaiseki menu, Chef Ricky. Feel free to comment.