Silky pieces of fatty tuna blended with sweet and tart apples, made soft from maceration in salty soy sauce and scallion oil. Crisp pieces of scallion enlivened the mild fish and the rice crisp on top added a crunchy texture and vaguely nutty taste that broke up the texture of the tartare. It’s easy to see why this is a signature dish – it is totally harmonious and exciting to the palate.
Normally I would never order edamame-what a waste! Thank heaven I capitulated to this request from one of my table mates, because this was totally delicious! Tender beans, coated in a slick of sour, fragrant, slightly spicy oil were so addictive that I couldn’t stop eating them.
This was the STUFF. The sausage was reminiscent of maple glazed bacon – sweet, sticky, crunchy, but with spices like star anise, ginger and pepper coming through to cut the sweetness of the glaze and the fatty pork. The sauce on the side was nothing sort of incendiary, and its bright, tangy flavors tasted Thai to me. Once again, this cut through the sweetness and brought all the background flavors to the forefront.
This was a special that is – apparently – on the menu all the time, and with good reason. Unlike Danji’s unctuous pork belly buns, these are made with slightly leaner, though no less moist, meat. Charbroiled edges and soft, robust tasting meat melded with the soft rice buns, sweet hoisin sauce and crunchy, herbaceous daikon relish. Not mindblowing, but an interesting interpretation of pork buns for those of you who don’t like a fatty mouthfeel.
Wait a minute…
Like the edamame, I was ready to give these a pass, but they turned out to be one of my favorite dishes of the night. The assorted mushrooms were hearty and full of that beefy, rich, umami taste that only mushrooms have. They were in a sweet and savory broth that tasted not unlike the flavor of the pork kakuni at Sakagura. Not at all spicy, just salty, meaty, tangy and incredibly satisfying. Kind of like a pork broth melded with teriyaki sauce.