This won’t be my best write-up of Urasawa. The meal was perfect, but I was having such a good time that my notes are horrible with sketchy, possibly inaccurate details. Obviously, I will have to let the photos tell most of the story.
The wonderful Hiro
Seasonality is the key to dining at Urasawa. To get the best of Urasawa, if you can afford it, would be to go at least 4 times a year – winter, spring, summer, fall.
Spring Flower Arrangement
As best as I can reconstruct from my notes, a slice of toro had been “stuffed” with monkfish liver, held together with a slice of turnip from Kyoto, then topped with scallion and gold leaf, yuzu dressing
Goma tofu, Kyoto-style. Tofu made from sesame seeds, stuffed with Uni, spring vegetables on the side. The tofu was topped with freshly grated wasabi and gold leaf. Saucing was a light dashi seasoned with shoyu and mirin. I love this dish
Inside of the Goma Tofu
Spring vegetables – Fiddlehead, Bamboo, Okra and Salmon rolled around Japanese Mountain Root, Dried fish eggs, Sweet miso
BYO White Wine
Beautiful Toro to be prepped for sashimi
Sashimi served in a hand carved ice bowl. The ice bowl is never re-used; Hiro carves a fresh one for each person. The Sashimi consisted of Toro, Kanpachi, Shima Aji (Amberjack) and Uni placed in a manila clam shell. The wasabi is freshly grated, Hiro’s soy sauce is made by him and the gorgeous flower again defined the beautiful seasonality of this dish.
Hiro and I then started talking about uni – this is definitely interactive dining. I mentioned that I loved the Hokkaido uni that Corey Lee served us at French laundry. He said he had some but didn’t want to serve it as it didn’t look “pretty”, but tasted perfectly. Of course, I said I’ll eat it.
Hokkaido Uni served simply
Beef Tartare from Northern Japan with Russian caviar, Red Pickle radish – superb
Red Snapper ‘Bundle” steamed with sake. The red snapper was placed on hot stones and sake mushi was added. The steaming process cooks the dish evenly and produces an incredibly moist and succulent dish. Dipping sauce of ponzu with radish was provided.
Spring Vegetable Tempura
Hoba Yaki – On a giant Hoba Leaf were fresh shrimp, beef and ???? sitting in a puree of Kyoto miso sauce that is made by mixing egg yolk with sweet miso. The dish was being lightly roasted in the Hoba leaf for a couple of minutes over the coals on the brazier. Unbelievable and the sauce was perfect just by itself.
Preparation for Shabu Shabu
Real Kobe Beef – the beef is now fed with red wine – I would have made a good Kobe beef cow – massages and red wine.
Foie Gras And Kobe – Hiro sliced the Kobe and then pounded it flat with side of his knife
Broth for the Shabu Shabu, Dipping Sauce, Kobe, Foie Gras and Hotaru Ika/Firefly squid
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.
The squid cooked
The Kobe cooked
The foie cooked
Now sushi is presented. Hiro is still using 180 grains of rice per each sushi. John didn’t get a photo of each and every piece of sushi so this is not a complete array of what we were served. I was also not on the ball and didn’t write down each piece. I will try to the best of my ability identify each piece, but I can’t vouch for my accuracy.
Grilled Shitake Mushroom
What a perfect restaurant, what a perfect evening, what perfect cuisine and what a master chef.