Ryokan Dinner (2 of 2)
Nelson @ ウェルハートピア熱海: From yesterday's post you can see how food was cooked at our table, but what is hard to tell is the amount of butter the Abalone is drowned in. Basically the whole bottom of the cooking vessel is filled with butter while heated from below and covered on top. I suppose it's partly my fault as you can control the amount of butter, but I just put the whole stick in. Some searches on the Internet reveals that the Abalone is known to "dance" while cooking and I took a video of it "dancing around".
The result looks completely different from the raw state. The Abalone gains a bumpy texture, almost wart-like and perhaps not as pleasing to look at. But I'm not here just to look at the Abalone, I'm here to eat it. The texture was very meaty and firm and I liked it better than the dried version. Maybe it was the butter that made the difference, but fresh Abalone is definitely tasty.
(For those with a perverted mind, reread the above but replace Abalone with vagina for a chuckle, but don't say I didn't warn you...)
I let the fire run so long without putting the Shabu Shabu ingredients into the pot that the fire ran out. I had to ask for another one to get my food cooked properly. The starting stock was very tasty and it imparted a nice balanced flavour to everything cooked in it. I don't know what made it so good, but perhaps it was a beef stock to begin with? Regardless I wasn't expecting much, but the Shabu Shabu had a really good flavour and it was very enjoyable.
Once again, the Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) was good, this time a bit sweet and served very warm straight from the kitchen. Like the first time it also had a ginkgo seed, Kamaboko, shrimp, shiitake and fish.
In the top left you can see a small sake cup. We ordered some with our meal and it came in a small decanter with an even smaller cup, which I think is how sake is typically served. Unfortunately we must have picked a cheap one as it tasted very strongly of alcohol and not much else.
During the meal a plate of tempura from the kitchen arrived. It had the largest piece of fish (tasted like halibut) I've seen served Tempura style, but it is hidden behind. The white ball in front was some sort of starchy vegetable.
Once again at the end of the meal we were served miso soup, tea and rice (optional). And once again the miso soup was too salty for my tastes. I still can't get over how different something as seemingly simple as miso soup is compared to here in North America.
To finish the meal we had a small green tea cake and a few pieces of fruit, which turned out to be sweeter than the cake.
Definitely an interesting meal with some new experiences, but I really want to go back and experience a true (expensive) kaiseki style meal served in your room. I'll have to save it for next time.
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