Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wakuriya revisited

I've been having a string of good meals at restaurants where my first experience was not the best. This continued with our recent revisit to Wakuriya.

The restaurant is only two miles from our house, so D and I first checked it out shortly after it opened, in January of 2009. Perhaps it was too new then, but although it was good and we enjoyed the experience, we thought that Kaygetsu was better.

Alas, Kaygetsu has now closed, so when we had a craving for good kaiseki early this year, we decided to go to Wakuriya. It turns out that it's now much, much harder to get a reservation. Luckily, they had closed over the holidays and hadn't taken any reservations during that time, so when we called there were still some weekdays available. We took the first available which was a random Wednesday night, and invited my parents to join us.

pear-flavored sake (surprisingly sweet and yummy):


homemade yaki goma dofu - oven-grilled sesame tofu & wasabi on a tiny iron pan (my least favorite of the evening; it had an icky texture):


assorted appetizers - Snake River Farms American "wagyu" beef nigiri, aori ika sashimi & uni, deep-fried renkon mochi (lotus root cake) w/ miso sauce, dried persimmon w/ shiso marscapone cheese (much much better than the appetizers last time, especially the beef!):


gindara to ankimo no chiri-mushi - steamed Alaskan black cod, monk fish liver, vegetable, "buna shimeiji" mushroom, served w/ "momoji oroshi" (spicy grated daikon) & ponzu sauce (I only ate the mushrooms, which were fine):


chef's choice sashimi - ama ebi, kanpachi, tai (delicious, but sashimi doesn't leave much room for creativity):


New Caledonian "tenshi no ebi" no tempura - deep-fried angel shrimp and "sato-imo" (Japanese taro) in "kasu-jiru" (sake lees soup) w/ Kyoto shichimi pepper:


organic carrot & yuzu sorbet:


"kamo" no sukiyaki - Maple Leaf Farms duck, funghi porcini, green onion, & "maru-konnyaku" (jelly potato ball) simmered w/ sweet umami soy sauce (really delicious, my favorite dish of the meal):


tai chazuke - snapper sashimi mixed w/ sesame paste over rice in hot dashi broth (did not eat):


kanitama ankake gohan - Alaskan snow crab omelet over rice w/ thickened dashi sauce:


green tea & white chocolate mousse w/ crunchy kinako (soy flour) & black sesame cookie:


Overall we were more impressed this time around. I especially liked the appetizers; both the beef nigiri and the deep-fried renkon were delicious. The duck sukiyaki was also a highlight.

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