Urasawa

New Year’s Eve at Urasawa is a dream restaurant for us. There are no noise-makers, no two seatings; nothing except exceptional food and the ever gracious Hiro. You will notice the similarity of ingredients between last year and this year. The reason is that Hiro prides himself on only using ingredients of the season so although the preparations might be similar,  the focus is on the ingredient and the dedication to that ingredient’s finest quality.

Seasonal Flower arrangement

The always smiling Hiro

Hiro’s brother-in-law

BYO Champagne

Hiro making the first dish of hairy crab – trust me this was a very intricate preparation

Hairy Crab from Hokkaido, Mizuna, Chrysanthemum flower, yuzu zest, white soy and vinegar

Another intricate preparation of monkfish in a toro wrap

Toro, monkfish liver. Shiso, mirugai, turnip from Kyoto, scallion, Japanese red leaf, shiso flower – the combination of the monkfish with the toro was brilliant – think unctuous

Salmon eggs from Hokkaido, small ebi (shrimp), shitake mushroom, mizuna, edame tofu, topped with gold leaf – as I mentioned in last year’s NYE’s post, salmon eggs are at the end of the season and these  salmon eggs have no relationship to the salmon eggs in jars. The edame tofu was in a word wondrous.

BYO white wine

Preparation of sashimi

Sashimi – red snapper from Southern Japan, Toro from Spain, Kanpachi from Koyama, shiso, carrot and pickle from Kyoto, Chrysanthemum flower, soy sauce, fresh wasabi served in a hand-carved ice bowl

Prep of the beef tartare

Beef from southern Japan served as tartare topped with caviar and pickled radish – another brilliant combination.

Egg custard, shark fin from Japan, shitake, shrimp, uni, ginko nuts, bonito flavor, ginger – this gives new meaning to comfort food

Egg custard deconstructed

Cod fish sperm sac from Hokkaido done as tempura – you mix in the radish (on the right) to the sauce

The next dish was very intricate. The beef served as the outer wrapper and was “filled” with Santa Barbara uni, Shitake and lobster. It was then placed on hot stones and sake mushi was added. The steaming process cooks the dish evenly and produces an incredibly moist and succulent dish.

On a small brazier, hairy crab from Hokkaido sits in its shell. It is topped with shrimp, uni, mizuna, crab brain and “bread” sauce. I am hoping I got this last reference to the sauce correct, but it is somewhat difficult for me to be absolutely accurate given the wine and my lack of an extensive Japanese vocabulary.

Shabu Shabu prep of the slippery lobster

Broth for Shabu Shabu

Shabu Shabu Ingredients– foie gras, Matsuzaka A-5 Kobe, Scallop, Slippery Lobster

Shabu Shabu – thank goodness we didn’t have to cook it – we had help and the foie takes the longest to cook. After you have consumed each ingredient, you are given a soup spoon to enjoy the broth.

BYO Red Wine

Now sushi – I know people think that Hiro is “putting me on”, but he learned this from Masa, his mentor. He absolutely wants 185 grains of rice per sushi portion.

Toro

Grilled toro

Kanpachi

Aji

Red Snapper

Uni

Toro

Lobster

Grilled Mushroom

Maguro

Baby white shrimp

Giant Clam

Toro with scallion roll

Abalone

Kohada

Kobe Beef

Spanish Mackerel

Eel

Tamago

Persimmon

I don’t have a clue, but it was delicious – thanks to Janet “red bean paste with chestnut pudding.. garnished with 23 karat gold flakes”

Green Tea

This was a great meal. Ingredient quality is superb, execution is perfect, ambiance is peaceful and calm, service is extraordinary – what more can one ask for?

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9 Responses to “Urasawa”


  1. 1 Joel January 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Who needs Japan. Splendid. One day…..

  2. 2 Nick Gatti January 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

    One(?) more thing to add to the “I owe Lizzie and John” list!!!

    Thank you, thank you.

  3. 3 ulterior epicure January 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    @ Lizziee: Not surprisingly, spectacular. I *love* the caption of the penultimate photo. Sometimes, you really stop caring what the thing is and just sit back and enjoy and marvel at its deliciousness.

  4. 4 lizziee January 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I really try very hard to be accurate, but I won’t make it up if I don’t know. Unlike Bauer who called FL’s salmon cornets, ahi!

  5. 5 Steven Dilley January 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Just gorgeous, Lizziee. Thank you.

  6. 6 Janet January 2, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    “red bean paste with chestnut pudding.. garnished with 23 karat gold flakes” =) it was one of the best new yrs eve experiences i’ve ever had. you and john were both wonderful. i was lucky to meet you guys listening to your wonderful stories.

  7. 7 Rupert January 3, 2010 at 10:23 am

    C’mon … you are making me hungry. Nice job, Liz.

  8. 8 lizziee January 3, 2010 at 10:33 am

    This is the most wonderful hobby and you dear readers make it so much more rewarding.

  9. 9 mattatouille January 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    you drank the silex! i still remember that wonderful wine. what a terrific meal you had here…I can only dream of eating here…maybe later in life, when budget allows, or when I don’t have to think about budget. we should eat together again!


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