Jfood was able to make a reservation at Heidi’s last night. It has been a few months since his last visit and he has been unsuccessful in several attempts to return over the last few weeks so he was excited about the prospect to return and enjoy another meal by this inventive chef.
Upon arrival there were several people waiting and Jfood was checked-in. As he waited for his turn to be seated, the host offered him a seat and a glass of wine. That is a very nice touch. Unfortunately Jfood does not drink wine and it might have been a nice touch to offer something non-alcoholic when Jfood told the host he did not drink wine, but he understands that his rejection is probably not the norm. Just a thought for the owner/host to include a non-alcoholic beverage in their welcome package.
What Jfood found interesting was that as he sat for the ten minutes at the front desk he overlooked a 2-top that was vacant. It was not offered to either Jfood or the couple who arrived after Jfood and also sat and waited. Jfood has no idea what that was about. Jfood was brought to the other room and given a very nice table. This room is darker and has much less energy than the main room, but Jfood was there with his book so it was no biggie. If he were to return with Mrs Jfood he would request the main dining room.
The server arrived and over the course of the next hour as Jfood ate his meal, he became more and more impressed with his server. This guy had most of the answers and if he did not he actually went to the kitchen and asked the chef the question and returned with the answer. Outstanding server.
The server brought the menu over, Jfood perused and then the server described the special of the day as well as made recommendations. Jfood accepted two of his recommendations and ordered the Cool sake spiked watermelon soup, poached shrimp, kaffir oil, and crisp taro root for an appetizer and the Onion triple threat, with beef top butt and onion rings for his entrée medium rare.
Bread and butter were delivered and Jfood appreciated the bread arriving in a napkin-envelope. That is a very nice touch. Bad news is that the bread was cold. Jfood never understands why restaurants go to the expense of having good bread only to serve it cold. He gets a brain cramp from such a simple fix.
The soup arrived in two phases simultaneously. The shrimp and vegetables arrived in the soup bowl and the soup itself arrived in a separate vessel and the poured into the bowl on site. The shrimp were nicely molded in a cylinder shape in the middle with very thin julienne of vegetables surrounding the shrimp. You could see the kaffir oil floating on the top of the soup. The juliennes were a combination of watermelon and the taro root, very nicely prepared. The first spoonful was just the soup and Jfood thought it was just watermelon juice. Then he tasted the soup with the shrimp. Interesting combination but nothing over the top exciting. The he took his third spoonful and something was very different. A spiciness attacked Jfood's palate. Wow that was not expected, nothing on the menu gave that indication. He swirled the soup to make sure the ingredients were fully engaged and went back. Yup, there was a distinct spiciness that totally overwhelmed the sweetness of the watermelon. This went from a watermelon soup to a shrimp in a spicy broth. Jfood asked the server what the spiciness was and he was informed that the soup contained both cayenne and ginger. In the end Jfood was not enamored with this combination. Given a blindfold, it would be difficult to name this a watermelon soup when the cayenne is engaged.
The steak arrived. Now think 6-8 ounce filet shaped piece of meat, covered with a deep rich brown sauce surrounded by a very light, pale white sauce with some crispy lightly coated small white onion rings. Wow this looked good. Jfood first tasted the onion rings. These were great. He took a deep breath because he has never ordered or eaten butt steak like this and took his first bit with some of the dark sauce. OMG this was good. The flavor of the meat was dark, rich, and one that you experience with a short rib or hangar part of the steer. Jfood was concerned about the texture but it was similar in texture between a strip and a London broil. Now Jfood moved to including the white sauce as well. This was basically an onion sauce and in combination with the rich brown sauce and the beef, this onion sauce created one of the best combinations of flavors Jfood has eaten. The meat was also perfectly cooked to medium rare. As Jfood told the server at the end of the meal, that dish was tops.
So Jfood's return to Heidi’s was very enjoyable. In both visits he loved certain aspects and was disappointed in others. But the disappointments were on items that the chef was pushing the envelope, which Jfood admires. He will definitely return when the menu changes again to try the inventive cuisine of Heidi’s.