Mentaiko Pasta (明太子パスタ)

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

cooked mentaiko capellini (angelhair) this evening on 2,5,2015.^^

we brought some mentaiko from fukuoka during our recent trip to beppu, yufuin & fukuoka. and i cooked this a few times.

i did a check, only mentaiko available here by kuriya on rakuten & cost S$48 for a tube of 500g. so until the next time i brought back some from japan at a decent price (or maybe some sales at isetan or taka or meidiya), i won’t be cooking this. haha! 🙂

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

mentaiko capellini

it is a really simple dish to cook.

i googled for recipe & found this 2-

Mentaiko Pasta (明太子パスタ) at norecipes.com; and

Mentaiko Spaghetti (Tokyo-Style Fish Roe Pasta) at www.saveur.com

anyhow, i modified & adjusted to my own needs-

Ingredients:

200g capellini

100g mentaiko

2tbsp olive oil

1tbsp mirin

1.5tbsp tsuyu

30g (2tbsp) butter softened

dash of pepper (1/4tsp)

cut 3 sheets of nori (seaweed) in thin strips (i didn’t have so used scallions)

Preparation:

  1. cook capellini to al dente (put in colander add ice & run cold water through hand) & set aside
  2. mixed mentaiko & other sauce ingredients
  3. heat sauce in pan, off fire & toss in the capellini
  4. plate it & add seaweed (or scallions)

c.h.e.f andy

Another Wonderful Breakfast to Savour @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 27Jan2015

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

this time we were expecting a wonderful breakfast on the second day on 27.1.2015.^^

it proved to be as great as the wonderful breakfast the day before. 🙂

i looked at the dishes for both days and surmised that both basically had rice & good pickles and 4 side dishes.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

the pickles included a tasty seaweed dish in the middle (i drank up the sauce) + konbu, some veg pickles on the right & another on the left.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

one more with radish, veg & seaweed.

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

1st side dish was a steamed tofu dish. you scooped it out onto a bowl, and added some sauce from the curve beak pot. it was tasty & had excellent texture. i added just enough sauce so i could finished off everything including the sauce.

simmered veg

simmered veg

the second side was a simmered veg with sweet peas, pumpkin etc was very good. this is a common dish for japanese breakfast & course dinners.

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

the 3rd side was a braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam topped with a dash of grated wasabi & a shiso leaf. this was excellent though the braised wagyu side dish for the dinner kaiseki on 26.1.2015 was even better.^^

grilled fish

grilled fish

the 4th side was a grilled fish, not saba this time but nice too.

pot of rice

pot of rice

gohan (rice)

gohan (rice)

there was some special rice with toasted sesame and dried scallops. i added the pickles. very nice.

raw egg added to rice

raw egg added to rice

the server told us we could cracked an egg & add it over the rice. i did that. i liked it as i liked the silky texture of egg yolk.

the rice was quite fine on its own. & it was nice too with the egg. i liked it both ways.

orange & yuzu jelly

orange & yuzu jelly

dessert was orange & yuzu jelly, nice & refreshing.

great breakfast, this!^^

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

Wonderful Breakfast – A Redemption @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 26.1.2015

Gettoan japanese breakfast

Gettoan japanese breakfast

after a totally underwhelming sub-par kaiseki dinner, we could be forgiven for lowering our expectations to base level for the following day breakfast on 26.1.2015. not a great feeling when you are staying 2 nights in an expensive ryokan.

fortunately this time, the breakfast surprised & delighted us, as it should jolly be.^^ redemption!

fresh mixed fruit juice

fresh mixed fruit juice

we started with a freshly made mixed fruit juice which was very good & refreshing.^^

excellent fish with miso & shiso leaf

excellent fish tartare with miso & shiso leaf

then we had an excellent fish tartare with brown miso, decorated with a shiso leaf (edible). this was good!

egg, saba dish

egg, saba dish

egg

egg

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

there was a dish of egg, grilled saba (horse mackerel), some grated radish. well i guess this time “normal service (i.e. expected good japanese food)” resumed.^^

grilled saba was good, not special but good.

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

the deep-fried tofu was very good – crispy skin, tasty inside, and looked great! this how good japanese cuisine ought to be.

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

the yuba tofu dish was excellent too, in flavours, texture. i drank up the sauce.

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

pickled veg with bonito flakes

pickled veg with bonito flakes

the mentaiko, potato dish & pickles was the usual good standard.

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples & jelly were refreshing.

this not a kaiseki dinner, just a simple breakfast, but it showed some delightful fineness & execution befitting of japanese cuisine. ^^

so finally, we were looking forward to the kaiseki dinner later.

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

Great Wagyu Yakiniku @ Yufuin Wasaku Kyushu Trip on 25jan2015

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

this the start of our short kyushu vacation. today my wife & i arrived yufuin 汤布院 oita prefecture about noon time, taking the 1hr 40mins highway bus from fukuoka airport.

check-in at our yufuin ryokan Gettoan was not until 3pm, so we planned to take the 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo to lake kinrinko 金麟湖.

we had googled about yakiniku restaurants for lunch, and found wasaku, which was just few minutes walk from yufuin eki along the way to lake kinrinko.

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

restaurant was empty & we were the only lunch customer throughout.

it was a nice setting on the usual tatami & with very powerful exhaust suction. 🙂

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu + chicken

kuroge wagyu + chicken

the kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 karubi set (i think 1640yen+8%tax) was very good. the wagyu + chicken set was 1760yen+8%.

chicken seems very popular in many parts of japan for both shabu shabu & yakiniku, not sure why. we found it tough & nothing special. the plain wagyu set was better as it had  7 pieces whereas the combo set had 4 or maybe 5pieces.

salad & sauce dip

salad & sauce dip

wagyu yakiniku set

wagyu yakiniku set

the set came with the usual salad, gohan with pickles, miso soup, & sauce dip for the yakiniku.

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

we thoroughly enjoyed this first restaurant meal on this kyushu trip (had ramen at fukuoka airport on arrival earlier while waiting for our bus to yufuin). there was no opportunity though to go back. we had kaiseki dinners & breakfasts as part of our 2-day ryokan stay at Gettoan, and we had a nice steak lunch at lamp sha 1561 kawakami yufuincho next to lake kinrinko the next day. ^^

the 2 sets came to about 3672yen or S$36++, a very good deal compared with wagyu yakiniku in Singapore, or even just australian or NZ beef cuts.

c.h.e.f andy