Cafe Cakes, Belmont
The milk tea cake I had is easily my favourite cake in the area by an immense margin. Nothing comes close (well, perhaps until I have another cake from them). Light, spongy cake, a very nuanced amount of moisture, dotted with chopped tea leaves for the faintest hint of crispiness amid the feathery softness, a wonderful texture. There is *precisely* the right amount of buttercream to balance the cake, enough to add luxurious sensuality, but appropriately restrained to give equal voice to the cake. The flavour of Earl Grey is carefully and artfully pitched, not an full on assault, but a gentle flirtation, a rich flavour mellow, and sweet and imperceptably complex. It permeates the cake and cream. This cake is a fairy tale.
Very good broth, brimming with sweet umami in the Yanagawa-Nabe, lovely pieces of eel simmered with julienned gobo/burdock root (for just that beautiful hint of bitterness) and comforting soft cooked egg, delicious runny, a very pleasant contrast against the firm eel. Even better with a little spirnkle of sansho powder for a little piquant sensation. An excellent dish, probably the best thing I've had there except for whole live uni.
Good sauce on the teriyaki chicken, very mellow, but the pieces of chicken was only ok. Standard edamame; also a nicely presented ohitashi, the spinach pressed into short cylinders, a little astringent, but softened a bit by the sesame heavy sauce and the light curls of dired bonito.
A well made chawan mushi, delicate, flavourful, with generous chunks of seafood (scallops, fish, shrimp) and a delighfully chewy rice cake cut into a flower shape.
The ume ochazuke was soothing, a comfort food of rice with tea, garnished with shiso leaf, nori strips, puffed rice, and tangy sour plum paste, a very balanced blend of flavours, tea against sour plum, and given a hint of wasabi for a wafting bit of liveliness. Great with the accompaniment of crunchy pickles.
Euno, North End, Boston
Very competent cooking, great timing on the stove is obvious from the correct texture of the food. Simple, uncomplicated flavours, unassuming but delicious. Olives and tomato complement calamari, sauteed to that right level of tender crunchiness, from tenacles to rings. Chicken Piccata was very tender, the buttery sauce pleasant with lemon and capers. A satisfying dessert of a a hazelnut pyramid -- chocolate shelled with chocolate and hazelnut mousse, a thin layer of sponge cake, and happy little bits of crunchy hazelnuts.
Mirage on the Hill, Beacon Hill, Boston
Their baklava used to be the best in the area, but that's history. Went by after they remodeled and found the Lebanese-style baklava uninspiring. Nothing of the dry, crispy filo (this was a little soggy), the nut layer was a little thin, and not as rich as before. Will probably try them again in future just to be sure, but I'm seriously bummed.
Great little pastry diamonds with almonds -- wonderfully dry and crispy and sparingly sweet. Similar delicious qualities in the pastry rectangles with good dark low-singing chocolate. The syrup coated fried dough wasn't as fresh tasting as I would have liked. Very amicable persian style baklava laced with the sultry sweetness of cardamom.