Monday, January 18, 2010

A Kaiseki Dinner at Manila's best private table

We were again lucky enough to have the chance to have dinner in Tita B's house, which we consider Manila's best private table. I feel bad for people who love food and will never have the chance to try Tita B's cooking. She has no formal training, just imagination and skill to produce great dishes.

Sine I was the first to arrive, I got a chance to peak in the kitchen and watch how meticulously the food was being prepared, not leaving out any detail...

Our dinner was 7 months in the making, since we had tried many times to put together a group for this but for reasons beyond our control, it never happened. We were 9 in total, including Tita B who joined us for dinner. While waiting for the others to arrive, we opened a bottle of 2008 Bouldevines, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Very refreshing crisp wine which I always enjoy even without any food.

At around 8 PM, the first of the many dishes started coming out from the kitchen. Our first dish was the Amuse: Caviar Tempura, Mayo Ponzu Sauce. The wrapper used for this is a special one only found in certain specialty shops in Tokyo. These were deep fried for a few seconds, just enough to give it a little crunch. A great combination with the Mayo Ponzu Sauce.

With this, we had Noels bottle of Sake (sorry I don't have the name), but Keiichi who is very well versed with Sake, mentioned that it was a "Junmai Daigin-jo which is the highest possible rank in sake categories. It 's a pure rice sake (Junmai), i.e. no alchoholic additives and daiginjo - polished to less than 50% of the original form. The bottle was made by Shikoku maker called Kinryo and this Kirameki is the top of their line. It's polished down to 35%". It was a very good sake which paired very well with the Amuse and the 2 other dishes that came after. Noel had mentioned that the Sake had a Chocolate/Cream taste in the middle of the palate. A very good choice of wine pairing specially for a meal like this.

Next, we had the appetizers and Sashimi: Gyoza Medley: Mushroom and Fiji Apple Gyoza, Soya Dipper, Nasu Gyoza, Sesame Dip and the Tuna and Salmon Tartare, Spicy Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette, Sesame Tuilles, Black Caviar.

Both dishes excellent in execution. The Gyoza, made with a slight variation from the original ways, one crunchy and one steamed. Perfect combination and each with their own dipping sauce. The Tartare, what can I say? A combination of Tuna and Salmon, over a base of spicy vinaigrette, which reminded Keiichi and myself of a Korean sauce. A crispy Won Ton gave this dish the crunch it needed. Jay's Champagne, a 1995 Nicolas Feuillatte, was a nice pairing for these 2 dishes.

After a short break, we proceeded with more food: Chawan Mushi, Foie Gras and Miso Gindara, Snow Pea Salad, Udon Noodles, Truffle Oil. I am not a lover of Chawan Mushi, but I enjoyed this one. Why? It had some shrimp on the bottom of it and of course, Foie Gras. We enjoyed this with Noel's bottle of: 2007 Keller Westhofener Kirchspiel Riesling Spatlese, another good pairing. The Gindara, which we were told was marinated for 3 days (a technique used by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Iron Chef Morimoto) was so full of flavor. The dish had various different textures that married perfectly, from the crunch of the thinly sliced cucumber to the noodles with Truffle sauce.

Then, they served us: Deep Fried Shrimp with Cornflake Batter, Carrot Miso Dressing. The batter, which was made of cornflake, was so crunchy yet very light, not oily at all. The Carrot Miso dressing, the perfect dipping sauce for the Shrimp. I had this with Rene's bottle of: 2007 Le Mont Damne by Didier Dagueneau, who is known to be one of the best producers in the Loire Valley. The wine was very fresh with just a slight hint of acidity, and some citrus notes.

Another break, and we opened our red wines: 1982 Chateau Palmer from keichi, my bottle of 2003 Artadi Pagos Viejos, and rene's mystery wine, which turned out to be a 2001 Chateau bahans Haut-Brion.

All these wines, to be paired with: Boneless Beef Ribs, Japanese Glaze, Gohan with Moromigake. Thinly sliced and perfectly medium rare slices of Beef, with a light sweetish Japanese glaze sauce, served with Steaming hot Japanese Rice. This was excellent, although the sweetness of the sauce was clashing with our wines, so I decided to just eat this without any wine.

I was a bit disappointed with my wine, since I was expecting much more from it, although Noel said that the bottle show potential and needs more time. It was very tannic, although in the nose the seemed sweet. After some time decanting and in the glass, it satrted to open up but I
I think it was just too young to drink. Keiichi's 1982 Chateau Palmer was a mature Bordeaux that I really enjoyed. It was my first time to try this, although I have tasted the Alter Ego which is Palmer's second label.

Dessert was a light Watermelon Soup, Vanilla Ice Cream, which I appreciate, because by that time, I was quite full after double servings of most of the dishes..

Thank you Tita for another first outstanding flawless meal...we enjoyed every single bit of it and hope to come back soon. We will already plan the Chinese Lauriat dinner soon..I hope it does not take 7 months to happen.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! How did the Palmer '82 do?


evil and demented little cooker girl said...

i'm so inggit!:P
can u bring me to tita b's?

Anonymous said...

It's Nobu Matsuhisa. =)

Noel said...

Hey, Mig.

My sake was Kinryo Kirameki Junmai Daigin-jo.

Nice pics as usual.


Miguel said...

Greg, as mentioned a while ago, Palmer was great!! But it was at it's peak already so if you have some, Drink now! :)

Miguel said...

Thank you for the correction about Chef Nobu's name..

Thanks Noel - that sake was really very good!

Elbert said...


Jin said...

everything looks so good! what do i have to do to get invited to tita b's dinners? please tell me!!

Miguel said...

Jin, hahaha... - ya the food is really superb. Better than many restaurants around here.

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thebluefrog said...

Hi Miguel
It was nice to finally meet you last night and see chinkee also!! its been too long!! anyway, i appreciated your advice but i keep forgetting the name of that jap place you were talking about! I cannot find anything as overall good as seryna. Sugi is good but Ihate the malls, second Tsukiji is overrrated. waht is the best place wtih good fresh sashmi, sake as a date place?