Wafu 和风 (Japanese Style) Braised Eggplants – Simply Wonderful!

#5 wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants - this dish was simply excellent!

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

japanese is a very wide cuisine like chinese, indian, french, italian (whereas my impression is korean cuisine is quite limited).

in japanese cooking there are so many very nice side dishes and great combination of different dishes even in a simple bento at the railway station.

& in kaiseki they always have many diffferent types of appetizers, steamed, broiled, poached, boiled, stewed, braised, vinegared, cured, stir-fired, grilled, hotpot, really endless array of dishes.

for my recent 9pax japanese course dinner on 28.9.2015, i paired the shabu pork with grated radish & small japanese cucumbers.

& i wanted to pair the wafu (和风) pasta with teriyaki cod & a veg.

after surfing/looking up a bit, i found a simple interesting wafu (和风) braised eggplant recipe from japanesecooking101 here.

following the recipe, i cut 2 egg plants in 1/2, then sliced the egg plants (this to let the sauce infused into the egg plants), then cut in 1/2 again, so i have 8 quarters. i fried them a bit, turned over, then added 1 cup dashi (i used chicken/vegetable stock), 1 tbsp tsuyu, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake (basically to taste) & reduced & set aside. when serving i reduced a little further while warming up & served. 🙂

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants

the wafu 和风 (japanese braised) eggplants was simply excellent! this the first time i did a japanese braised eggplant. it’s so easy & the taste was just fantastic!^^

egg plant is really a very nice veg. you can do it in so many ways.

i had very nice eggplants with minced pork in hong kong at 富记大排档 at tai wai, and i recreated the minced pork egg plant dish at home,

and later a vegetarian version of the egg plant dish. 🙂

& i still want to do the chinese version though (i like the ye shanghai one very much). don’t think much difference, probably just use oysters sauce instead.

a wonderful, most satisfying dish! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wafu (和风) Pasta – Outstanding!

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

did an excellent wafu (和风) pasta the other day, and served it with teriyaki cod & wafu (和风) eggplant for a 8pax japanese course dinner on 28.9.2015.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

this the first time i did a kind of “wafu (和风) pasta” other than mentaiko pasta. & the taste was wonderful!

i followed the recipe on japanesecooking101 here.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

very simple ingredients – just streaky bacon, shimeji mushrooms & yellow onions.

i did it again today 1.10.2015 just a few days later using leftover ingredients, this time using shitake mushrooms as i did not have shimeji. my wife & i were going out for dinner. my daughter came back from her squash game at 9pm & walloped the whole dish! ^^

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 28.9.2015

& the sauce again is the key – dashi (i used chicken/vegetable stock), mirin, tsuyu & a little sugar (optional) & reduced.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 28.9.2015

taste was, what can i say, just exquisite. it’s not better than most of my pastas which are also very good, but it’s good! equally good! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 1 – Disappointing Totally Below Par Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 25Jan2015

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

we were booked for 2 nights at Gettoan ryokan 月灯庵 at yufuin 汤布院. Gettoan ryokan & its kaiseki dinners had very good reviews, and we were expecting a very good dinner on the first evening we checked into the ryokan on 25.1.2015.

it turned out to be really disappointing. i would say this dinner was below just about every ryokan dinner i had in tohoku (we visited just before the tsunami, sadly cannot go back now), and way below (say) mikuni or hachi or kuriya in singapore.

i need to add here though that the japanese breakfast the next day was excellent (& the day after too) & the shabu shabu kaiseki on our second night 26.1.2015 was just exquisite, par excellence, so i term this a tale of 2 dinners. ^^

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/a-tale-of-2-dinners-part-2-the-good-ending-a-marvellous-kaiseki-dinner-gettoan-on-26jan2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/wonderful-breakfast-a-redemption-gettoan-ryokan-yufuin-kyushu-on-26-1-2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/another-wonderful-breakfast-to-savour-gettoan-ryokan-月灯庵-yufuin汤布院-kyushu-九州-on-27jan2015/

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

sensai

sensai

sensai-seaweed wrapped mentaiko

sensai-seaweed wrapped minced salmon?

sensai - fish roes

sensai – fish roes

the sensai was ok, but really unexciting for this class of ryokan (i.e. very expensive ryokan). the mini kaiseki lunch at kuriya had far better sensai (前菜). and the omakase lunch at GOTO had just as good sakizuke(先附).

tofu dish with foie gras

tofu dish with foie gras

the foie gras flavoured tofu dish was a nice dish, but really average by japanese kaiseki standards, non descript really.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase (kampachi, tai maybe?? & hirame) was an immense let down, completely substandard. for me, even sun with moon sashimi is much better standard than this! sashimi was not sweet & was tough – a really low grade cut!

yuba pot

yuba pot

there was a egg, yuba pot with veg. i would give same assessment as the foie gras tofu…underwhelming, just like the entire dinner.

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

the clear soup came with a nice tasty piece of fish, maybe snapper? anyway for this dish alone, maybe one could say “normal service resumes??” but this was a non-substantial by-the-way dish in a kaiseki.

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

of course the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧 was just excellent. like my wife said, ishiyaki is self service & they did gave a very good beef cut. in a good or at least par-for-the-course kaiseki, one expects to taste good cooking, some creativity & great matching of taste. those were non existent in this dinner!

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

other than the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧, the ochazuke (お茶漬け) was the only other dish throughout the dinner that we consider of good standards. the kampachi cut was good & could be taken as sashimi or slightly poached with the rice. the yuzu miso paste was great & the dashi 上汤was just excellent! a very good dish.

deseert

deseert

the dessert was just as bad. any dessert in sun with moon would be better!

one comment on the service. the overall service of the ryokan was top notch as expected of any ryokans of this standard. we were assigned a server who spoke very good english & we were kind of expecting top level service.

but the service was really superficial! the server tried to get us to order red wine instead of sake claiming that the dishes suited wine better. i would say none of the dishes qualified at all as western or fusion & why would one take red or white wine instead of sake for a japanese dinner, they were just not very good japanese food! & it was quite blatant way to get us to spend more money. this the first & only time we encountered that in japan. even in Singapore these days, server will advise you NOT to order things you don’t need/want!

and worse, after the beef before ochazuke she asked us whether we wanted tea. we asked for ocha & was later billed 950yen! of course it was not about the money. she did not tell us it was chargeable, and the way she asked it was evident that she did not intend to reveal it was chargeable. immediately after the ochazuke, we were served another ocha, this one free. does that make any sense??

for me it was a lowly tactic suited for yesteryears, like london chinatown in the 1970s, not a top class ryokan in Japan, or for that matter any ordinary restaurants in Singapore.

fortunately for us, the ryokan redeemed itself the next few meals. we were asked again the next dinner if we wanted tea by the same server, again w/o telling us it was chargeable! some bad habits just do not go away!

c.h.e.f andy