Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That's What I Call a Fantastic Meal

It's up to you.

Apparently, that's what we said to the chef tonight. In celebration of my wife's recently acquired PhD, we went to a local restaurant called Umi and ordered "Omakase." As it turns out, Omakase is Japanese for "It's up to you," and is a fairly common order in sushi restaurants.

We've ordered Omakase at Umi once before, for an anniversary dinner (it's quite expensive), and it was such a fantastic experience that we've been looking for an excuse to do it again.

Tonight, we had that excuse, so away we went to enjoy eight courses of fantastic food. The Wife took photos. Unfortunately, many of the details are lost to me at this point. I will, however, describe each course to the best of my ability.

We started with drinks. I had a bottle of Chimay Grande Reserve and The Wife had a glass of sangria.

The first course was yellowfin tartare, with sweet soy sauce and a tiny dollop of wasabi. Light, just a little sweet, and delicious.

The second course was lightly seared Spanish mackerel. I don't remember what kind of sauce was on it, only that it was really good. This was another subtly flavored dish.

I remember nearly nothing about this one. It was bolder than the previous course, partly because of a really tasty Japanese pepper blend that was sprinkled on top. Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of fish it was.

Ah, I remember this one more clearly. This was cod, seared, sauced and then cooked again, with a sweet miso sauce. I don't really care for miso, but I'll make an exception for this - the flesh was sweet and tender, with an almost buttery texture. If you've ever had Chilean sea bass, it was kind of like that.

Once again, the identity of the fish escapes me. What I do remember about this one, however, is the sauce. When combined with the tiny bits of wasabi on each piece, it created a flavor unlike anything I've ever had. Iron Chef quality, for sure.

This is shrimp Tempura with spicy cream sauce. I've had a lot of fried shrimp in my time...a lot...and I've never had fried shrimp this light, crispy, and delicate. I was in awe at this particular course.

The penultimate course was some classic nigiri sushi. The rice was particularly delicious; the flavor of the vinegar really came out.

Finally, we had dessert - a fantastic cashew tureen with mango and raspberry sauces. Imagine a Klondike...now, make it more delicious. No, more than that. Come on, you;re not even trying! I'm talking better than any Klondike has ever been! This dessert was even better than that.

Of course, a dinner like this doesn't come cheap.

Still...it was totally worth it.