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Manhattan

Nadaman Hakubai Kaiseki

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Nadaman Hakubai Kaiseki

SG | Apr 18, 2002 12:16 AM

Dropped by Nadaman this past Monday to celebrate my wife’s birthday. I had called ahead a couple of weeks ago and the host recommended the kirin kaiseki ($120/person) so we didn’t spend anytime looking at the menu when we got there:

1st Course - Started off with a selection of 5 appetizers
- teriyaki duck breast
- shitake caps stuffed with some sort of tofu stuffing and fried tempura style
- cooked garden snail presented in it’s shell; the waitress described it as a whelk
- omelet topped with sea urchin and freshly grated wasabi
- lastly what looked like baby moray eels and shreds of wakame seaweed in yuzu broth.
The most interesting for me was the baby eels, there were about 10-15 of them in the bowl whole probably about 3-4” long and .25 - .5” wide each almost resembling noodles, texture was firm noodle like but slippery very interesting. I liken them to angulas

2nd course - Sea bass cut ala bone cutting anago style, in clear bonito broth topped with thinly sliced scallions and red pepper

3rd course – Sashimi, tuna, kanpachi, huge amaebi, red snapper. All very good but I especially enjoyed the oily kanpachi and the humongous amaebi which was butterflied and partially cooked.

4th course – cruchy bamboo shoots and wakame in a bonito broth.

5th course – Steak cooked on hot stone. Rib eye steak cut into cubes and lightly seasoned with black pepper and salt. Simple yet tasty

6th course – chawan mushi, with chicken shrimp, gingko nuts, shitake and topped with a fan of shark’s fin. Wonderful soft, silky custard texture.

7th course – Rice cooked with bamboo shoots in traditional cast iron pot and served with miso soup and pickles.

Dessert – coffee jelly topped with custard; and green tea ice cream

Given that this was my first kaiseki dinner, overall I felt that the meal was very good, not spectacular but very good and different from anything I’ve ever had at a Japanese restaurant. The only complain I had is that the later courses could have been more creative / exotic.

Next on my list is a trip to Sugiyama…

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