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HEAT is HOT, live uni (long)

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HEAT is HOT, live uni (long)

Ron Rosenbaum | Nov 16, 2002 12:24 AM

I periodically get emails from Heat restaurant. Yesterday's message heralded the arrival of live uni. After treating myself to a long wished for printer this afternoon, and wondering what other trouble I could get myself into, Heat came to mind.

I've gotten to know the owner, Kee(sp?) and his cousin, Chef Hari. We use Heat catering at the club for our sushi needs when we're too busy to bang it out ourselves. My wife was having dinner with a client so I was on my own.

I told Hari "I'm in your hands". Here's what he gave me:

A "salad" of flaked Norwegian salmon with hydroponic cucumber and green olive-shoyu dressing. Clean and really buttery tasting.

"Tartare" of very lightly seared (small propane torch) medium fatty tuna in ponzu sauce. The searing really brought out savoriness of the tuna.

A pair of Anago nigiri (fresh water eel). The eel was poached lightly in sake and water. Not overly large or the usual dark, sweet eel sauce. Wonderful sake flavor. Hari told me no soy with this one.

Fresh Canadian prawns sashimi on sliced orange with freshly grated wasabi. Soy was good with this one. The ebi picked up additional sweetness from the orange. I could've eaten this one all night long. Like a raw shrimp creme brulee. But I would've loved those crunchy heads deep fried. Where'd they go anyway?

Rosette of Akami (bluefin tuna) with finely sliced pickled onion and a white truffle oil and cilantro infused ponzu type sauce.This one really had me guessing. Slightly smoky tasting.

Three small slices of skin-on Madai (Japanese snapper),emulsified kiwi dressing with Pommery style mustard. Shades of Morimoto.

My favorite. An ice cold "shooter" of cod soft roe (the milt, or sperm) in Reisling and ponzu,, with a pickled ginger shoot garni. My instructions were to down it in one or two swallows and cheww a little on the way down, and then chew on the ginger shoot. WOW!

The uni. Scooped out and served on orange slices atop the sea urchin, which was placed in a large decorative bowl of shaved ice. More fresh wasabi and a touch of shoyu. I want these last two courses for my last meal.

Seared and marinated Norwegian salmon with sake marinated ikura (salmon roe) Rich, meaty with tiny sake scented explosions of salmon essence.

Very tiny and salty marinated baby squid. Chewy. Poached in soy, water and squid innards. I love squid and although this was not my most favorite squid ever,
it was a nice contrast to all that raw fin fish.

Wild yellowtail nigiri with charred pickled onions. Skin on and seared with the torch. A drizzle of eel sauce over. So rich I thought that this must be what raw Kobe beef tenderloin tastes like.

O toro nigiri. The fattiest tuna on rice patties. One piece plain and the other lightly scored with the knife and torched, which brings out the fattiness even more.

Sashimi of "horse" mackarel, skin on, with shiso, chives, and jalapeno vinaigrette. Not a hint of oiliness or fishiness.

And finally, a hot course. A tempura fried fillet of golden eye snapper in a pineappl;e sauce. Similar to sweet and sour. Just great.

With three beers and a glass of chilled sake, I was feeling no pain. Even though the portions were small, I was stuffed. I thought briefly about stopping by Jim's on O'Brien for a pork chop sandwich but didn't.
Wish I had.

Maybe I'll go make a bacon and egg sandwich.

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