I am a Cafe Hiro regular now, and I am working my way through the menu, trying a new dish each time I visit. I tell you, this place has not made a misstep with me yet. This last visit, I tried the Shrimp with Sea Urchin Risotto ($14.00). It was in a word, other worldly. I am an uni novice, but this dish was a good intro for those who don't like uni. (Next time, the uni pasta for me). It has a an earthy balance of cheesy and seafood flavor (I know, seafood and cheese does sound weird together). The shrimp were plump but wasn't really the star of this dish. What was were these little mushrooms which I could not identify. Oyster maybe? Maybe not, since it had a distinctive bite, sort of like tender calamari. The risotto itself was creamy and the way risotto should be. There was a tomato based sauce poured around the side that when combined with the rich starch, balanced beautifully on my palate. The Salmon Miso ($13.00) is a constant. We almost always order it. The fish is nicely glazed with a sweet sauce, and the flesh is deeply flavored of miso. It rests on a bed of steamed vegetables, mushrooms and a light soy broth. Perfect with steamed rice.
I almost forgot to mention the soup and salad that precede each dish. The soup last Friday was pumpkin (or some sort of squash). Deep adobe orange in color, it was just the thing to satiate my taste buds and prime it for the meal ahead. The salad, dressed lightly in miso and ginger was as good as always.
Dessert was the Green Tea Blanc Manger ($4.00). A deep tea cup with a layer of sweet red bean, a layer of creamy but light custard, and a final layer of green tea. Delicious!