Restaurant: Yamakase [1, 2, 3, 4]
Location: You wish you knew!
Date: May 15, 2015
Rating: Even better than last time!
I’ve been meaning to get back to Yamakase for forever (2 years) and finally got around to booking the whole place again (which is really the only way to go!). The Foodie Club easily jammed in here. Not that 11 seats are that much to fill for such a great place.
This is the kitchen. Well it’s also half the room.
Yamakase is the brainchild of chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto and video game executive Stan Liu. Here Yama-san scoops out some Japanese Uni. The restaurant is Omakase only, serving up a single seating of epic creative Japanese Kaiseki/sushi.
Those little white squiggles are some kind of seasonal baby fish. Accompanied by Hokkaido uni, some kind of homemade tofu, green onions, and I don’t know what else. This is typical of the Yama style, a mixture of richness and various sea-born textures. Very very umami.
This is the pescatarian (no shell fish version) with a special kelp.
Baby eels. Seasonal baby eels with caviar and a kind of slightly spicy mayo sauce. One baby sea creature not being enough, we have the eels, which are almost like mung bean noodles in consistency. This was bowl licking good.
Sea bass. Instead of the eels.
Uni and baby fish. The fish are wrapped in shiso and drizzled with a puree of avocado or asparagus or something like that. Delicious.
Abalone. The softest abalone I think I’ve ever had.
Perhaps Amberjack. Another replacement for the abalone.
Sashimi. This delicate fish was with a slightly tangy sauce. Amazing again.
Japanese scallop. With a light lemony sauce. Absolutely amazing.
A whitefish with a similar sauce.
Bluefin tuna, caviar, pine nuts. Some of the best chunks of tuna I’ve had.
Bonito. Again in a lovely vinegar based sauce. The fish was melt in your mouth.
Various marinated seafood. Scallop, two kinds of shrimp, and a pickled baby peach.
A version with no shellfish.
Oyster spoon. Kushi Oyster, quail egg, uni, caviar. This single taste shot is an amazing combination of umami flavors.
The chef chunks up some foie gras.
Eggplant and Foie. Foie gras, caviar, Japanese eggplant.
Toro rules. Chopped toro on eggplant.
Floored. Chopped toro, crab guts and meat, quail egg, and truffle cheese. Yeah, truffle cheese. This dish was absolutely out of this world. Just crazy rich and delicious.
Various spoons of toro, cheese, and quail egg.
This hairy crab from Hokkaido was still alive when we arrived.
Yama sets to work on them after steaming.
Served up steamed, simple, but delicious.
Red mullet or snapper cooked up in foil with mushrooms. The fungus turned into a lovely broth.
Ultimate bowl. This foie gras based seafood broth was topped with truffles and filled with yummy seafood bits. Absolutely stunning. So rich. So good.
A more classic fish-based dashi soup.
Toro “Sandwich”. A slab of frozen toro on top of uni on top of some toast. Wow.
Yama flames up some beef.
Yama slices the beef. True Kobe wagyu.
Wagyu with truffles. Simply cooked, with a bit of a soy based sauce. Wow.
Toro with truffles and sea salt. Wow. This was just amazing. Very salty though.
Blue fin tuna sushi. Mouth watering.
Sea bass. To die for.
Chu toro. Lethal.
O toro. Even better.
O toro with salt. Wow, wow wow. These might have been rich, but they were some of the best nigiri I’ve had in a long long time. Chef Yama spent a lot of time cutting and probably threw away 2/3 of the fish.
A dessert sorbet. Baby Japanese peach (in season) with yuzu and mint. Very light and refreshing.
This was one of my best meals in a long time — really quite excellent — and regular readers know I have more than my share of great meals. A really great format. The restaurant is only 11 seats. This made for a really fun time. We were there from 7 to midnight too. A total blow out.
Oh, and that toro cheese dish and foie gras “stew” were some of the best dishes I’ve had in forever.
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