Last weekend we went to Keiko à Nob Hill for my partner’s birthday. The setting is nice, more intimate, less trendy and less sterile feeling than a lot of upscale places these days. The food was very good and I would recommend this place for special occasions.
Here is what we ate:
Carrot ‘Trio” This included a carrot chiffon cake and a carrot custard. The custard was excellent. The carrot chiffon cake was good for what it was but to me it really seemed out of place as an appetizer.
Trois ensemble of Dungeness crab. The crab was layered between thin crunchy sesame tuiles. The crab tasted very fresh, and paired well with both the livelier “red” garnishes and more vegetal “green” garnishes.. I am usually a big fan of simply presented crab dishes, but I think this dish might have been elevated to the next level with a hit of lemon or yuzu juice and a tiny drizzle of good quality olive oil. While enjoyable as is, a bit of acid would have really brought out the flavors of the crab more and brought the dish together.
The next course on the menu was foie gras, the signature dish here. We are not big foie gras eaters and they made us a vegetable course with roasted bamboo shoots and bomito and miso instead which was very good.
Duo of black angus rib eye ‘Deux. Braised and grilled rib eye. The rib eye was probably the standout dish of the evening. It was offered with shaved black truffle for $40 extra. Since it was a special occasion we got the black truffles on top. From past experience, getting shaved truffle has been a mixed experience ranging from transcendent to mediocre. The quality of truffles varies greatly and sometimes servers can be very stingy with the amount of truffle. Thankfully this experience erred on the transcendent side. First, the truffles were very high quality, plump, dark are bursting with umami earthiness and aroma. Second, the owner was generous with the amount he shaved on our food. The rib eye was outstanding, very meaty and full of flavor. The braise was good but fell short because it was not braised long enough and the meat was too dry.
Fourme d'ambert cheese-kind of like a blue cheese fillo pie. What a great idea. It was excellent.
The Cannelé Bordelais was the best version I can remember having.
Wine selection suggested by the sommelier was a 1990 Maison Leroy Maranges – a perfect match for all courses.