Dinner at Nihonryourifuji (日本料理FUJI)
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The best thing about going out for a nice meal frequently is that probability is on your side to hit a truly great place. This one is such a place.
8 years in business, but somehow strangely undiscovered by the international foodie people, this young chef cooks kappo style in his 8 seat counter restaurant.
The ingredients are very well selected and treated with the utmost respect and delicacy to create subtle but highly nuanced flavors. The execution is flawless and always meant to bring out the best in the product.
17 course of delight!
He started you off with a Iwashi (イワシ / Sardine), barely cooked in a hand warm dashi. The dashi complimented the oily fish perfectly. This was followed by ice-sedated ebi which were prepared on the counter. The tail was separated from the head and the liver. The claws and the head was cooked on the grill. While the chef then prepared the head for easy eating the tails were just warmed up. This created a wonderful assemble with differences in texture and warmness, simply delicious. It went on like this.
The outstanding and most surprising course was the Japanese sesame spinach (HORENSO GOMAAE ほうれん草の胡麻和え). The assitant cooked stood there for minutes roasting the sesame to the right consistency. Once achieved the sesame was mixed with the spinach in a very precise ways to create an extraordinary nutty flavour. The root was served without sesame on the side and had an incredible sweetness to it. What a course, so simple, yet so tasty.
One of the four (!) rice dishes was a maguro the Chef could acquire on the market the same morning and was caught not far away at 11pm the night before. He added two different cuts to the rice without any treatment. So good.
The finish off the meal he served a Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes (Yaki Imo) 焼き芋 prepared with Kanten Jelly (寒天の作り方 ) a natural white gelatin obtained from algae. It was so sweet and almost liquid on the inside that one thought it is an apple pie.
What a meal, greatness comes from unexpected places. Go there, he is getting discovered and popular.