We started off with some hot Gekkeikan Sake, much needed on a cold night. As part of their specials, if you order over $15 worth of food, the large sake is discounted from $7.49 to $5.99, a pretty good deal. They also bring over a tray of assorted and mismatched sake cups and you get to pick your own.
Our first dish was the Lotus Chips. They arrived piping hot but were just a tad oily. I would have liked a napkin in the bowl to absorb some of the excess oil. They were thinly sliced and very crispy. Seasoned with just a bit of salt, this was a great starter.
This is their Daily Cute Temari Sushi, 10 little balls of assorted fish on rice. The detail to decoration is very cute, and I loved the little egg and carrot stars on some of the tuna and salmon pieces. I also liked the ikura on the tamago and the black tobiko on the tako. I liked the assortment, which included beef tartare as well as ebi and unagi too. The little coleslaw on the side was refreshing too.
Here is a closeup of the Tako, with a bit of black tobiko (regular tobiko that has been coloured with squid ink). For me, the fish to rice ratio is better as balls versus the normal nigiri sushi - I didn't worry about filling up on rice. The rice itself was a little crumbly though, falling apart when picked up by chopsticks. Still the best sushi rice ever has to be Miku.
Up next was the Grilled Kobe Beef that we cook ourselves! Yes, I get to play with fire. This was a little pricey, $18.50 for 100gm, which was about 12-14 thin slices. You can also try this cooking style with beef tongue, which is significantly cheaper at just $7.50 for 100gm.
So the little stone stove comes lit and all you do is place your beef slices onto the grill. They provide you with a new pair of chopsticks for cooking with, so you don't contaminate between cooked and uncooked food.
Here is a close up of the Kobe Beef. See the fatty marbling throughout? I know it's not "real" Kobe beef, but it's the closest we can get outside of Japan, Macau and Hong Kong. The teaspoon on the side holds a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt. After placing the beef onto the grill, sprinkle some of this on and do the same when you flip it over.
The meat doesn't take long to cook, just a few minutes on each side. And you don't want to cook it to anything more than medium. Despite the fattiness, it can still toughen up when overcooked.
Our last dish of the night, the Sukiyaki. Served in a hot stone bowl, this had some beef slices, konnyaku, cabbage, carrots, fish cakes and some enoki mushrooms as well. The broth was very sweet to begin with, but seemed to get saltier as it sat at the table. This was a slight disappointment in terms of what was in the pot itself, I would have liked to see a bit more variety, perhaps some tofu and some udon noodles too?
- Servers are Japanese, English sometimes limited
- Bright atmosphere, nothing like other izakayas
- Has your usual suspects (ebi mayo, takoyaki) but other interesting items too