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Restaurants & Bars 9

Shiki Last Night

BobB | Feb 15, 200809:32 AM

I hope I'm not breaking any rules here, but I'm reposting as a separate thread what I wrote under the "Where did you go for Valentine's Day" thread so romantically-disinclined Shiki fans can find it. ;-)


I'd say our experience was in line with most of what I've read out here - good to excellent food, spotty (but friendly and apologetic) service.

We arrived promptly for our 8:00 reservation, and found ourselves standing in the doorway with four other couples who'd done the same. Got seated about 8:20, and ordered six small dishes and a small bottle of good sake. Turns out they didn't have one of our choices, so we substituted - no problem.

We got one dish about 20 minutes after ordering (not bad on a crowded night), but then had to wait almost an hour for the next dish to show up. 20 minutes after that three more dishes arrived all at once. The sixth never arrived at all, which was just as well, we were full by then, and they took it off the bill.

As for the food, we had:

Scallop tartare wrapped in smoked salmon - very good, though as at least one poster has mentioned, the strongly-flavored (and truly excellent!) salmon overpowers the scallop, so it's best eaten deconstructed, scallop first.

Fried oysters, a special of the day. They were OK, but not nearly as good as most I've eaten. The coating was surprisingly thick and almost dough-like, covered with panko, and formed into perfect ovals. They were more like little crunchy dumplings with a tiny oyster inside than what I'd normally think of as fried oysters.

Tuna with natto, our least favorite. This was our first time trying natto, and probably our last - it was weirdly sticky, leaving little spiderweb threads of goo all over the place, and had a slightly nauseating taste (yes, I know it's fermented, but it tasted more like half-digested and the flavor lingered in my mouth until I was finally able to get home and brush my teeth), with a texture somewhere between cooked beans and oatmeal. The tuna with it was small bland chunks. This may have been a good version of natto (natto fans please chime in), but if so it's clearly not to our taste.

Things picked up with the arrival of the tonkatsu, a pork loin cutlet (the menu actually reads "poklin") fried perfectly crispy and moist, with a dipping sauce that tasted strongly of pomegranate molasses.

Our last dish was salmon onigiri, a simple but delicious ball of moist rice with a piece of cooked fish in the middle, wrapped in a large sheet of dried seaweed so you can pick it up and eat it by hand.

All in all an enjoyable meal. I really like what they've done with the decor, the space is much warmer and more inviting than when it was Firenze. We'll definitely be back, though probably not on a holiday.

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