I accompanied my dad to meet some Japanese businessmen he’s been doing business with for a long time. They told us to meet them in front of the Mitsukoshi Department store on 4 chrome Street at 6pm. Unfortunately, the taxi dropped us off at the Mitsukoshi on Nihonbashitei and we had been keeping the Japanese waiting unknowingly. We finally got to the right Mistukoshi an hour later, thankfully, Mr. Watanabe was still there. He laughed when he heard about our ordeal and accepted our profuse apologies. Then he told us to get in the car as we drove to the restaurant.
This is my first time in Japan and I can’t read Japanese so I will just say that the car stopped in front of a small restaurant. This restaurant doesn’t have an English name nor an English menu. The restaurant was tiny and could only seat 10 people. I looked around and all I saw were expensive wines. I thought we were eating Japanese food, but I was told the restaurant served Western food. Small restaurants with an old server in a suit means one thing…EXPENSIVE. And I’m in Japan. So you can just imagine the thoughts going through my head.
They asked me what I wanted to drink and didn’t know what they served so I just echoed my dad’s order of beer, thinking I would get an Asahi.
I got this instead. One sip and I fell in love. If you’re not a lager drinker and prefer, Hoegaardens and Blue Moons, this beer is for you. It’s light and doesn’t have that bitter flavor from lagers. It’s got that classic malty taste, bit nutty and hint of sweetness. I would say it’s a girl beer. I’m not a beer drinker, but I drank one of these every day for one week while I was there in Japan.
While my Suntory beer was still half-full, the server came and served me (and everyone else) Louis Latour Chablis Premier Cru 2008. Drinking it on its own was wonderful. Of course, I’m biased as I am a white wine drinker and not a red wine drinker. It’s got that medium-heavy body I recognize in Chablis/Chardonnary as well as that buttery and velvety characteristic in the mouth. The minerals are there, though the acidity isn’t very much. It packs quite a punch for a white wine and sinks down and lingers on long after you’ve swallowed it. Why they served this wine?
Presenting fresh abalone, scallops and oysters, the freshest seafood I have ever tasted in my life.
The oysters only had that faint sea scent and didn’t have an aftertaste when swallowed. The scallops were huge, almost the size of my palm. All were soft and creamy as butter. And the abalone? Well, it might be an acquired taste. This is also the first time I’ve had fresh abalone so I’m not really sure how it’s supposed to taste. It tastes like a mild-tasting mushroom, like a trumpet mushroom.
Lobster was also dropped in front of me, just plain steamed, but oh so tender and delicious. Allergy? What allergy?
The wine tasted even better with the fresh seafood and the lobster. Not a drop left.
My wine glass was then replaced with a Bordeaux wine glass. Chateaux Balestard la Torrell Grand Cru Classe St. Emilion 1996 was served to me. “Great, French wine. It’s going to taste like my leather shoes again.”
But it didn’t. It was life-changing. Maybe the fact that it was Grand Cru should have clued me in. But it wasn’t a heavy red at all. It still had that leather to the nose and to the mouth but very slight. Instead, it had full of spice aromas and flavors in the form of cinnamon and cardamom and fruit. I tried to drink it with the lobster but it was just a bit overpowering for it. I thought they would serve it with meat but a tiny mushroom salad was served instead.
The salad was very simple, just mushrooms topped in a light vinaigrette but the mushrooms brought out the earthiness from the Chateaux Balestard, the earthiness in the wine not present on the first sniff. Again, not a drop left.
Finally, for the main course, what I had been anticipating will be served was served: KOBE BEEF. On my first night in Japan. Yes, I am a lucky girl.
My excitement over being served Kobe Beef on my first night clearly showed as I was not able to operate my camera properly. They showed me this cut to photograph and I got pretty giddy and lost all train of thought. I finally got a proper photo when it was on my plate already. Medium Rare Goodness.
This plate of sinful goodness was paired with Clos du Marquis 1994 (St. Julien), another light-medium red from Bordeaux. Not much aroma on the nose, leather, rubber and earth very slight, soft around the mouth with a smooth slide down the throat. I definitely paid more attention to the meat this time over the wine but I’d drink the wine again, assuming I have the funds to pay for a bottle.
This post ends here, very abruptly I might add, as I am tired from the group’s activity and have work tom.
I still currently don’t know what the restaurant’s name is or where it’s exactly located but I do have their business card as well as some brochures which the kind server took the time to gather and give to me. If you know me personally, let me know and I’ll send you a copy of their business card/brochure.
Thank you dear Japanese. You really know how to entertain.
P.S. Leave a comment to tell me how I’m doing. If you’re going to be nasty, include your name so I can be nasty right back.