Superb Hokkaido Wagyu Steak & Sukiyaki @ Imahan Hakata on 29Jan2015

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

this would rank as one of our best wagyu dinners in japan!^^

we decided to try out imahan hakata at hakataeki level 9 on 29.1.2015.

we had another best wagyu yakiniku & sukiyaki at moritaya at kyoto station during our previous tateyama alpine route & kamikochi trip in 2013.

we had a steak at imahan hakata & yakiniku at moritaya & sukiyaki at both. imahan was more expensive.

imahan might not be better. moritaya was equally good. but the overall experience in terms of service & ambience was better. 🙂 moritaya has view of kyoto tower & surrounding mountains though. ^^

salad

salad

for the steak dinner, we had a salad with the usual ponzu sauce. nice & refreshing.

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

the hokkaido wagyu was just excellent! marbled & flavourful, on elf our best wagyu dinners in japan!^^

sukiyaki hotplate

sukiyaki hotplate

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

sukiyaki veg

sukiyaki veg

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sukiyaki

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sukiyaki

the sukiyaki was done on a hotplate. it was really good! we also had the usual vege.

kyoto station moritaya’s sukiyaki was just as equally good.

the other excellent sukiyaki we had was at chinya at asakusa. but i guess the wagyu we had at chinya quite many years back was not the same quality as the ones we had at moritaya & here at imahan, so it was not comparing apples with apples.

c.h.e.f andy

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 2 The Good Ending – A Marvellous Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 26Jan2015

excellent uni

excellent uni

after the excellent ryokan breakfast this morning, we now had cause to anticipate a nice kaiseki dinner on 26.1.2015.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

this time we were not disappointed.

hence i had termed these 2 dinners on 25.1.2015 & 26.1.2015 “a tale of 2 dinners”

what a difference a menu change made.

see the sub-par dinner on 25.1.2015

with a good kaiseki dinner & breafast, Gettoan 月灯庵 did fully meet our expectations of a good ryokan.

umeshu梅酒

umeshu梅酒

for this evening, dinner started with umeshu梅酒.

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

the chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) was outstanding. there was bits of minced ginger on top. the texture & flavours were exquisite. maybe i will try this at home.

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

the braised wagyu & tendons was just superb. texture was almost like gelatinous, had bite yet dissolving in the mouth, and nice mellow beefy flavours, mildly sweet. this was par excellence! ^^

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

grating own wasabi

grating own wasabi

ika

ika

fish sashimi

fish sashimi

we grated our own wasabi roots!

sashimi moriawase was nothing like last evening’s which was below those at sun with moon, or for that matter any supermarket basement sashimi picks in japan!

this time we had good serving each of uni, very sweet! ika was pretty good & the fish slices were very good too. the same lady server initially said it was swordfish, but when i mentioned it did not look remotely like kajiki, she corrected herself but we did not understand what fish it was actually. whatever, what counted was it’s good!

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

& we had an excellent tempura!

the 2 large pieces each of anago (sea or conger eel) was a large helping. the tempura batter was just great & the whole experience wonderful.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

& we had a wonderful bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 shabu shabu. there were 10 large thick slices of wagyu for 2 pax, beef was well marbled and flavourful, very good indeed!

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

noodles, mushrooms, veg

noodles, mushrooms, veg

we had the usual noodles, mushrooms, vegetables.

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

i can have this again! 🙂

if we were to make a comparison with mikuni’s excellent kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, certainly what we have at Gettoan was much more marbled & better beef quality. in terms of satisfaction, mikuni’s was almost as good & a good approximation to this.

pickles

pickles

we had pickles with the gohan (rice).

cake dessert

cake dessert

dessert was ok. we did not have much interest for the butter cake. it maybe that gettoan indeed is trying to be fusion, with the foie gras tofu last evening (tonight’s chawanmushi would beat tat hands down), and these cake stuff, which some restaurants in Singapore like kuriya etc does too.

anyway, we were immensely satisfied with the kaiseki dinner this second night. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wagyu Yakiniku & Sukiyaki Dinner @ Moritaya at Kyoto Station Isetan L11 on 9.10.2013

wagyu sukiyaki

wagyu sukiyaki

wagyu sukiyaki

wagyu sukiyaki

gozanbo at L15 granvia hotel at kyoto station has been our favourite place for wagyu lunch. this time on route to tateyama alpine route from kansai, we found another excellent wagyu restaurant – moritaya. 🙂

we decided to share a sukiyaki. there were 4 grades. we ordered the 3rd grade (2nd cheapest), a 200g portion at 6250yen (the usual 150g portion was 5000yen). we also ordered 2 portions of wagyu sirloin yakiniku at 2415yen per portion.

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

chefquak2 chefquak1

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

wagyu yakiniku

the yakiniku sirloin was excellent, very marbled & flavourful. purely on the meat taste & texture, it was much better than what we had at gozanbo for lunch. we loved it! 🙂 (i guess this cooking method common in ryokans also was not exactly the korean yakiniku style but i have not found out the name yet).

sukiyaki condiments

sukiyaki condiments

wagyu sukiyaki

wagyu sukiyaki

the sukiyaki was again superb. just on price comparison, it was much better than what our other favourite place, chinya at asakusa tokyo. there were 3 very large pieces of meat, the first piece much higher quality & marbling than the other 2 (they served the same way also in chinya).  it came with the usual jap glass noodles, tofu & leeks etc.

it was such an excellent dinner & we could not have enough. we stopped at kyoto & went back again on our return journey from kamikochi & ordered the same items.

(if i have to make a comparison, gozanbo is located within granvia hotel & a more expensive place. the courses have a slight fusion flavour with good western soup & cold dishes prepared by very good teppanyaki chefs, and came with dessert & coffee. but to get the same quality of beef one would pay quite a bit more).

subsequently, we had a very good yakiniku dinner at gyukaku at matsumoto on 13.10.2013 at <1/2 this price, but of course the quality of wagyu cut was no comparison.

c.h.e.f andy

Kuroge Wagyu Shabu Shabu & Sukiyaki @ 花心 河原町店 Kashin Kawaramachi Kyoto on 18May2013

kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛放题 (all you can eat) shabu shabu & sukiyaki

kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛放题 (all you can eat) shabu shabu & sukiyaki

after a very pleasant afternoon & surprisingly shaded walk at Fushimi Inari, we took the Keihan line from Fushimi Inari station to Sanjo station, and walked back along Kawaramachi towards Shijo.

we wanted to have some good shabu shabu & saw that 花心 Kashin was offering 2980 yen Japanese beef + pork & 3980 yen kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛放题 (all you can eat).

we had some problems (the usual lost in translation) at the 9flr restaurant when we showed the waitress the brochure we picked up at ground floor which said it was kuroge wagyu (all you can eat) whereas the restaurant menu showed kuroge wagyu + pork (all you can eat). we were just there for the kuroge & did not want to have pork to fill up our stomach..haha. 🙂 anyway we settled in for what they had on the menu rather than spend time miscommunicating. 🙂

1/2 shabu shabu (chicken broth) & 1/2 sukiyaki

1/2 shabu shabu (chicken broth) & 1/2 sukiyaki

there was another hiccup. we were asked to choose 2 from 4 different soup base, and we chose chicken broth & sukiyaki. this was a departure from the usual shabu shabu which was just kunbu water no soup base to talk about..anyway we did not get the usual shabu shabu sauce (sesame & shoyu) and the waiter informed us that the soup base we selected did not include any sauce. he brought the 2 sauces with a sign showing 100yen. We said we were not told otherwise we would have picked the kunbu with the sauce..anyway this time their turn to give in & they let us have the sauce free (or in Japan they say “service”)..as it turned out the restaurant was right & we did not really need the sauces. 🙂

tofu appetizer

tofu appetizer

dinner started (again) with a tofu starter with wasabi & sauce. it was nice so no complaints. 🙂

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there was a tube of minced pork with the vegetable basket. it was good! we did not put any additional orders for this or the vegetables as we just wanted to eat kuroge wagyu!

kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛放题 (all you can eat) shabu shabu & sukiyaki

kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛放题 (all you can eat) shabu shabu & sukiyaki

& the long awaited kuroge (top photo & above) – they were good! not as good as the thick-cut kagoshima wagyu konabe at Mikuni, but it was a sweet, flavourful beef. 🙂

it was a double-decker box & we soon asked for a second. this was however replaced by pork. the pork was not too bad too, but it really spoiled my appetite. fortunately our third & fourth orders of the double-decker box were all kuroge wagyu. satisfaction! 🙂 I thought I might get tired of the beef but in fact I enjoyed the last box the most, perhaps it was better cut than the first box & in any case I had gotten over the disappointment of the “interfering” pork. 🙂

DSCN5013 DSCN5012 DSCN5009 DSCN5019

the photos above were the shabu-ed (it means 涮 which I think by definition means 7 or 8 swipes in boiling water) beef – sukiyaki with raw egg & shabu shabu. the sukiyaki beef was best taken together with a small spoonful of sukiyaki sauce. the shabu-ed beef was good on its own & by-the-way the chicken broth was very tasty.

DSCN5022 DSCN5021

the set actually included selection of dessert. we picked a mochi ice cream (vanilla inside mochi skin – quite good), and an almond tofu (杏仁豆腐). I absolutely enjoyed the dinner- though I should avoid having buffets.

view of Kawaramachi Kyoto from 花心 Kaisin on 9Flr

view of Kawaramachi Kyoto from 花心 Kaisin on 9Flr

& the view of Kawaramachi from 花心 Kaisin was good too!

c.h.e.f andy

Japanese Dinner @ Mikuni at Fairmont Hotel on 24Mar2013

20130324_194557

truffle kampachi sashimi

Note – see also update = FAR Card 50% for up to 5pax. 🙂

I go to Mikuni a lot as my wife & I really enjoy the food there, and with Feed@Raffles discounts (50% discount for 2pax), that is the best value eat we can get anywhere. 🙂

We always order ala carte so we pick only dishes we like and also it is much better value than ordering the Seasons Menu or the Grand Tour Tasting Menu. We explore the menu quite a bit & zero in on the dishes we like. In fact, we have now taken the same few dishes so many times that I can almost call it a “Andy Kaiseki Menu”..haha…just kidding. 🙂 It is just 5 course, but while it may not have like 10 courses to be a full kaiseki menu, every dish is very substantial when compared with individual course of a kaiseki or mini kaiseki.

My selected courses (shared by 2pax) as follows-

  1. truffle kampachi (S$28)
  2. botan ebi sashimi (3 large prawns for S$35)
  3. united nations futomaki (9 ingredients 6 pieces maki S$28)
  4. sous vide then deep-fried octopus (S$30)
  5. 2xkagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (individual hotpot at S$48 each)
  6. 1 plain rice to share – they will split for you (S$5)

As you see, the price comes to S$222, and at 50% discount, it is S$111 or S$55.50++pax. 🙂

Now to the dishes.

The first dish, a truffle kampachi is a wonderful, wonderful dish, and as you can see in the top picture, it is so pretty. It is in a small way a fusion sashimi dish by the Korean Chef with kampachi sashimi fanned out in probably tsuyu sauce as the sauce is not so salty, and a dash of truffle oil – so very fragrant, fresh, sweet & tasty! 🙂

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botan ebi sashimi

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botan rbi heads deep-fried

The second dish is botan ebi sashimi – you get 3 prawns for sashimi & 2 if you order sushi. These are large (3x the size of regular ama ebi), plump & sweet prawns with the same pleasant slightly sticky to the bite texture as regular ama ebi.

and they deep fry the large prawn heads. We eat up almost the entire crispy deep-fried prawn heads every time so no need to elaborate la…haha. 🙂

united nations futomaki

united nations futomaki

Next the united nation futomaki. The name sounds like a disaster but there are 9 ingredients (I can see there are unagi, ebi, tamago, avogado, different fish roes, maybe crabstick etc) & it is good – may not be the best as there are many specialist maki in many restaurants these days, but it is good!

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Then we have the tako (octopus) sous vide & deep-fried in light batter. This is really very good as the meat is totally tender & consistent throughout because of sous vide (vacuum low temperature slow-cooking). it goes very well with just a little wasabi mayo (provided) – we always add more wasabi on our own.

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kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (小钵)

& the the finale – kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe (小钵).

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It is very, very good! there are 3 pieces of wagyu, and you can see from the photos that they are large & thick pieces – I reckon the 3 pieces to be at least 80g, probably 100g! these are Jap wagyu NOT australian wagyu, & they are so, so tasty,  the sukiyaki also comes with the usual vegetables, thick Japanese glass noodles & mushroom, and oh such great flavours! you can add the soup to the rice afterwards (and remember to add wasabi to it as well).

c.h.e.f andy