Thursday, May 14, 2020

Meat and More

Our craving for meat brought us back to the Yakiniku specialist Nikushou the other night. And their seasonal tasting menu offered more than just their signature dishes of beef from various cuts prepared right in front of the customers.

Our evening began with a series of seafood and seasonal dishes. The bite size piece of shirako (cod milt) was served as amuse-bouche, poached in ginger-infused dashi and served with kinome leaves on top. The shirako was firmed up from the cooking but retained much of the creamy flavor, and I like the hint of peppery after-taste from the kinome. It’s followed by a platter of seasonal seafood and vegetables, including hotaru-ika (firefly squid) and nanohana (rapeseed blossoms), both representative ingredient of the spring season.

I was impressed with the grilled eel dish last time right before restaurant owner and friend Anthony put that on the regular menu, and 2 months on and with great acclaims from other customers, I felt he managed to further refine the dish, this time with an even crispier skin and a more balanced dipping sauce with the kick from the fresh sansho seeds, rich but not overpowering.

What came next was what Anthony described as "The Sea Trio" - Bafun Uni (sea urchins) was slightly cured with salt-water and served in a shot glass-like bowl with sprinkle of salt flakes on top. I love the light and crisp flavor. The Ankimo (monkfish liver) came in decent size, poached in dashi and served with chopped narazuke melon with a good balance of fatty texture and hint of sweet and sour tastes. To complete the trio, an even bigger piece of shirako was served in a bowl, this time raw with green scallions, yuzu zest and ponzu dressing. Once again, amazing texture and softer than the cooked version we had earlier.

"Yukima-nabe" was served as the Futamono course in a lidded lacquer bowl. Inside was cod fish fillet and oyster in a light dashi , mizuna and grated daikon. I love this comforting course to move us from the seafood to the meat which we came for in the first place.

Five different cuts were presented and prepared for us in much fanfare on the specialty grill on the table. All were excellent, beginning with the thick slices of ox-tongue from Australia, followed by 3 other cuts of wagyu from various regions in Japan. (Misuji, Zabuton and Tomo Sankaku, if I remembered correctly, and all with nice marbled texture) Finally, it's their signature Nikushou-yaki, with thin slice of sirloin flash-grilled and served in a bowl of rice with egg and tare sauces poured on top. It's as good as I expected and we were properly stuffed after all the meats that we had.

Went with a bottle of sake I brought over. Brewed with an uncommon strain of yeast which gave it a rounded texture, a nice floral aroma and some banana and pear on the palate. Said to be on the sweet side but the low acidity gave it more a neutral taste on the palate. Wrapped up with a couple of desserts - a fruit platter and ice-cream served with red bean and matcha jelly underneath - and more sweets at a cafe a few blocks away.

When? May 11 2020
Where? Nikushou, 22/F, 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay
Menu Highlights? Grilled Freshwater Eel with Sansho Pepper Sauce, Premium Wagyu 5 Cuts
Drinks? Kudoki Jozu Jr “Ogawa Kobo” Junmai Daiginjo 40, Kamenoi Shuzo, Yamagata Prefecture
くどき上手純米大吟釀小川酵母 - 山形県亀の井酒造
Web: (Facebook)

No comments :