Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sushi Kappo Kobikicho

Lunch this week was at Sushi Kappo, considered by many as the best Japanese restaurant in Manila. Be prepared though to pay Tokyo prices if you have dinner. They do have set lunches which is what we had.

I arrived the first so while waiting for the others, I had a chance to observe how the Chef (Shintaro Hino) meticulously prepared all the food, with such precision that it seemed like he was working for one of those Swiss watch companies. Not a single detail left out, from the millimetrical cuts of tuna, to the exact amounts of soy sauce, etc.. Incidentally all ingredients in this restaurant are flown in from Japan twice a week, from the Soy sauce, to the fresh wasabi and obviously the fresh fish, from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.

The set of 'swords' they use to cut the fish...impressive

Preparing the fresh Wasabi, by rubbing in on dried Shark skin

Fresh Wasabi

Precision cutting by the chef of Squid, the first of our sushi dishes

Before I continue with the other types of Sushi we had, I would just like to say that as I said earlier, this is the best I have ever tried in Manila (Hopefully when I go to Tokyo in May I will try even better thank this) period.

We had the sushi menu, which consisted of an appetizer of Daiso (some sort of nut with a sweet sauce) and different kinds of Sushi prepare din front of you and served one by one. As we were in a traditional Japanese Restaurant, I decided to eat the way the Japanese eat their Sushi. The Sushi is held by hand, turned upside down and slowly dipped in soy sauce. The rice is never dipped in the soy sauce. I know this is hard to do since I love doing this, but I wanted to taste the freshness of the fish and not the taste of Soy sauce with Wasabi. Note that they do not give you any extra Wasabi for the sushi, since they already put some between the rice and the fish..



Cuttlefish

Red Snapper

O-Toro and Hamachi

Uni (note how bright orange this is) compared to other Uni I have tried in other restaurants

Toro Maki being rolled with onions...

Toro Maki and Tamago

Tempura

Maezawa Beef, a Wagyu steak from a champion breed line of Japan


Just a short note on the Tempura - again one of the best I've tried. Not oily at all, from the freshest Prawn and very light batter. This was lovely! The Wagyu was served slightly seared (medium rare) with a light sauce and with Mustard and Wasabi. Obviously I ate mine with Wasabi. Very tender, melt in your mouth good.

For wines, we had 2 different kinds of Sake, a bottle of Champagne, 3 reds and 2 whites.

Kubota Manju (Daigin-jo)

Kokuryu Tokusen Ginjo
Jojo's Champagne Comte Audoin de Dampierre Family Reserve Cuvée 2000, quite refreshing and still very vibrant, despite being a 2000. This Champagne was excellent, and a good paring with the sushi.

My Bottle of 2008 Laxas Albarino and Keiichi's 1999 Jean Noel Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru. My Albarino was a good pairing with the fish but Keiichi's Montrachet was not really for me a good paring with Sushi. I liked the wine though, and mentioned to Noel i could smell burnt Pop Corn. He said it was the smell of Toasted Oak.

Greg's 2000 Chateau Larcis Ducasse, a Saint Emillion Grand Cru. a medium bodied wine which went very well paired with our steak.

and last, Jojo's 2008 Red Car Pinot Noir. This was a sample he had which did not have a label yet. I liked this Pinot, very correct and also good with the Steak. Rene had also brought a 2000 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, which unfortunately was corked, so we did not drink it. This bottle he purchased in Vinfolio and after emailing them, it seems that they may replace the bottle. Let's see what happens...



Our usual suspects group shot, after all the great food and wine. We did not stay too long because we had no more wines to drink. A great lunch and great company. Food was excellent and service spot on. KAMPAI!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Harrods Food Halls, London

During my last trip to London, my last day was pretty open, so I decided to spend the morning in Harrods. I was to do some last minute shopping for gifts for my family. What was supposed to be a quick in and out turned out to be a 5 hour tour around the Harrods Food Halls. It was like I was in heaven...I could not imagine that there could any place/store that had what I had seen...


Food from practically anywhere in the world, prepared food, frozen food, fresh, you name it and they have it. Aside from all that food fro take home, there are several 'restaurants' where you can have a quick good meal: Chinese, Japanese, American, French, Spanish, Oyster Bar, etc...I spent almost 4 hours just walking around and looking at the variety of things they had...here are some of what they had...


Cheese...I was able to count more than 100 kinds.

Spanish deli, from Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Chorizo, Chistorra, Lomo Iberico, etc...


Italian Deli, from Culatello de Zibello, Mortadela, Prosciutto di Parma, etc...

All kinds of Ham, smoked ham, Farmers ham, Peppered Ham, etc...

Foie Heaven!! From Duck, to Goose, Smoked Duck, topped with Pepper, Apples compote, etc..

They even had Cured Ox Tongue in Jelly. I was tempted to buy one but look at the price!!

Next - Food for Take out:


More than 40 kinds of different Pies!!

Look at the size of those Asparagus!!

Tons of different types of Olives and take home food from all over the world!!

And now, on to the 'market' , selling fresh food:

Seafood and Birds Galore!!!...

So after all this walking and drooling about food, I was exhausted and had to rest my feet and have a quick bite, I decided to have a simple Salmon Roll with Caper Butter and a glass of Champagne!

What a day and what a place. Of course next time I'm in London, I will be back here for more.....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hearty lunch at Cafe Caruso

I love Italian food and ever since my recent trips to Italy for work, I have enjoyed it even more and more. I can't believe that I have never tried out Cafe Caruso, for me now once of my favorite of not the favorite Italian Restaurant in Manila. The interiors are almost the same to any of the Restaurants I've been to in Milan, white table cloth, simple wooden chairs, just the way I like it. The kitchen is open, and on display, the brick oven, where they make one of the best pizzas I've tried in Manila and a mean Focaccia bread, freshly baked as you order.


As soon as the group arrived, we opened our first bottle of wine, my La Villa Roero Arneis 2008. One of the bottles I brought from a recent trip and one of my favorite Italian grapes, Arneis, in the region of Roero in Piedmont.


Our first 2 reds were open, just in time for our Pizza Salsicha. A thin crust Pizza with Tomato and Cheese, Mushrooms and Italian Sausage. I love thin crust Pizzas but very few Restaurants in Manila can do it well, and this was done to perfection.


With this, we had 3 bottles open: Jojo's Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2000, Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Bricco Gattera 1997 and my bottle of Mauro Sebaste Barolo Monvigliero 2005. My favorite was Jojo's Barolo, a 97 which I think was a good year for Barolo which I saved for my main course. This was slightly tannic but I thought it was drinking very well. My Barolo, which was decanted for almost 1 1/2 hours, was very light in color and still very tannic and young, so this would need major time in the bottle...maybe a 8-10 years more.















Next, Our main courses started arriving: Keiichi had as part of his main, Spaghetti Nero, pasta made with Squid ink. This was lovely and I regret now not ordering this...


For my main, I had Scallopini al Limone (veal with lemon) and served with a side of Spaghetti Aglio olio-Vongole, The Veal was perfectly executed and so soft, it was almost like eating butter. The lemon was not too overpowering and it did not at all clash with the wines we were having.

We had some more wines after our meal, together with a cheese platter. Greg's 1973 Berberana Gran Reserva (same as the one we had at my house a few before), Rene's 2003 Silvio Nardi Manachiara Brunello di Montalcino and Jojo's 1997 Fattoria di Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva. All great wines although I think still young and could use some more aging in the bottle.

For dessert, we also had a dessert wine from Jay, a 2006 Dr. Loosen Beerenauslese, a light sweet wine, very easy to drink.

It was great fun and I really enjoyed the food and the place. I can't believe I have not eaten here before. I will definitely be back soon and thank you Jojo for organizing the lunch. It was great fun.

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I'm Angust House Makati
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