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Nagoya Restaurants - Review

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Nagoya Restaurants - Review

Suvro | Feb 3, 2005 05:06 PM

After 5 days of eating in Nagoya, here is my short description. I am staying at the Marriott Associa on top of the Nagoya JR Station, so most of the restuarants are in this area.

1) Sunday night - La Jolla Grill for California style cuisine @ the hotel - good but nothing remarkable. It was the only restaurant at the hotel that was able to take a reservation at 9pm. Others were full.

2) Monday night - Kyoto style Kaiseki dinner at a hotel restaurant about 2 blocks from the JR station - did not get the name or the bill (I was with my hosts, and at the end of the dinner, too loaded with beer, Sho-chu, and sake). It was as I remembered on my last trip to Japan - excellent in all respects and wonderful for long conversation (initially about business, but later on to non-business items, perhaps facilitated with all the alcohol).

3) Tuesday night - Kihachi in the JR restaurant complex on the 12th floor of the shopping complex. I was drawn in by the picture of terrific lobsters, but ordered one of their set menus (C). Ladies 2 tables away ordered the lobster dish and it looked as good as the picture - thing to order if there are multiple people in the group.
Menu C had
a) turnip soup with cod milt - turnip soup should have been a clear consomme, but was pureed boiled turnip and slightly distracting, the cod milts were superb - warm and delicate texture;
b) Yellowtail avocado, tomato, apple salad with Asian chilli sauce - easily the standout dish - the sauce was worth every last speck on the dish (sesame and chilli notes), superb piece of yellowtail, and crunch of apple against the soft texture of avocado made this sing;
c) Seared lobster with cauliflower crab mousse - small piece of lobster tail poached in butter, good; amazing mousse of crab and cauliflower (very small florets) - slightly creamy taste; sprinkled with fish roe, diced cukes, red onions, and tomato;
d) deep fried puffer with vegetable in vinaigrette sauce - the puffer fish was slightly tough and chewy and in a light tempura batter, not the best fish (I suspect the emphasis they are trying to achieve is "puffer fish"); the vinaigrette was flavorful with a citrusy note, and there were some warm white beans which added a pleasant surprise to the veggies;
e) Oriental style beef with Chinese veggies - slight bitter note in the veggies was refreshing, beef was meltingly tender
f) dessert was large round Meiwa kumquats with mascarpone in a chilled citrus gellee - definitely worth trying to recreate - this was heavenly
g) espresso

Wednesday lunch - after visiting the amaazing Toyota Commemorative Auto museum (history of lean production starting from the Toyoda family textile loom business) we ended up in the mall looking for Okonomiyaki lunch - small stall where they cook for you - had the non-noodle style dish with prawns, and other seafood and bacon - I personally did not like the flavor of the bonito shavings, and it was not a hit with me, but an experience worth the effort to find this small stall

Wednesday dinner at Nakotei Teppan-Yaki restaurant at Associa hotel - Kinran set dinner:
a) Amuse was an amazing egg custard with a fruit sauce topping - the custard was slightly chilled which made a huge difference in the texture
b) Beef and shrimp appetizer - excellent
c) Assorted seafood - live prawn and a white fish that was also quite good
d) Seasonal vegetables - spinach, potato, and one other I don't remember - all quite deliciously grilled
e) Japanese beef steak - said specially selected, but did not say Wagyu - so not sure, but it was the finest marbled piece of beef I have seen and eaten - delicately grilled medium and sliced - this was like butter, to be had with a little coarse salt, if anything
f) seasonal salad in house dressing
g) garlic fried rice (quite good - the amazing thing was watching the cook prepare the garlic on the grill in swooping continuous motion of the two flat handles)
h) dessert - don't remember what the dessert was - it was quite good, and served in a different seating area

Thursday night dinner was also at the Associa's Lin-Ka Chinese restaurant and as extravagant a meal over 2 hours - but I seem to have misplaced the take away menu and my notes (and now I am running out of time before checkout).

Overall a happy gourmand's tour of Nagoya - you can do worse in Japan!

Happy Chowing.

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