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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

eG Food Blog: Feb 10. Omakase at Kiss

Dinner last night was Omakase at the tiny Kiss, in the company of the incomparable Malik our dear old man Melkor.

The reservation was at 7.30. The only person that got there on time, Malik, was the one who'd never been there at all. Our Melkor, who, without the company of the directionally gifted Ms. Melkor, was woefully lost in the jungle that was SoMa. My lateness, how unlike me I might add, was rightfully blamed on Melkor, for derailing me by calling for directional guidance.

In any case, by the time we got there we were all famished, as evident by the look of our Amuse which looked like this
squid.2.secs.after.jpg

…after merely two seconds of landing in front of us hungry ghosts. Well, perhaps I should also show you what it looked like when it first arrived, yes?
squid.jpg

It was fantastic, the chunks of octopus tentacles were slightly caramelized on the outside, but ever so tender, with a salty and every so slightly sweet shoyu sauce and a few pieces of scallions. There was a slight misunderstanding with Melkor's dietary restriction of “no shellfish”. Naga-san didn't think that squids belong in the Shellfish category. I almost agree with him. I mean, where's the shell? Really?

Anyhow, the mistake was corrected and Melkor received an Amuse of seaweed and marinated tofu instead.

Our actual first course was a cold dish of spinach in slightly sweet tofu sauce with crispy tiny shrimps. Melkor got one without the tasty little crustaceans.
1stcourse.jpg

The next course was Hakusai, a layered terrine of cabbage and minced fish, in white soy bean sauce, topped with chives and a leaf of pickled ginger flower. The minced fish was quite tasty, and the sauce, again, exemplified the perfect interplay of sweet and salty in Japanese cuisine.
terrine.jpg

Next came the sashimi. Maguro (tuna), Marugai (clam), Hirame (halibut), Halibut fins, Aji (spanish mackerel) and Suzuki. My favorite tonight is the Suzuki, but everything was great as well.
sashimi.jpg

Then the Chawanmushi, a silky smooth egg custard, with a piece of white fish, some crab meat, and garnished with snow peas, carrots, ginko nuts and lily bulbs.
chawanmushi.jpg

The next course is sushi. One piece each of Toro, Suzuki, Salmon, and Hirame.
sushi.jpg

Sushi here is always fantastic. The rice is impeccably cooked and seasoned, and the fish pristine and tasty.

I ordered some uni, since it was not included in the Omakase. Naga-san broke out a new box for us, and they were supremely delicious.
uni.jpg

The last savory course is Akadashi, a miso-based soup with mushrooms. The perfect and soothing ending to a fantastically restorative meal.
soup.jpg

For a simple dessert, we had a perfect slice of melon. Simple, yet delicious, a fitting end to this meal.
melon.jpg

Melkor brought a bottle of Riesling, since he's not a fan of Sake. I will let the boys talk to you about the wine. Malik and I also shared three types of sake, Senshin, Tokugetsu, and Hekiiju. The subtle and dry Hekiiju is what I usually drink here, but my favorite last night was the Senshin Naga-san poured for us, off the menu. It was complex and floral, with a long sweet finish. The Tokugetsu was a bit too assertive for my taste, but Malik loved it.

How much I liked the sakes was quite evident in the declining quality of my photographs as the meal progressed.

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