Monjayaki (2 of 2)
Nelson @ Tsukishima: The other Monjayaki dish we tried at Noto 能登 was quite unique. First the red part on the left is mentaiko, marinated roe of pollock fish. Basically fish eggs. On the right is mochi and underneath is cheese. Then bonito flakes, tempura bits and cabbage round this one out along with the floury liquid base.
Most of it was made up of cabbage, but the cheese and mochi definitely give it a different texture.
Once again a similar technique of forming a ring of solids to keep in the liquid is used. You can see the server separating the roe. Check out the video to see it her in action.
We had a variation on this one where half of it (left) had rice, which was good. The other half was just the above mentioned ingredients. It doesn't look appetizing and in fact looks like it came straight from your stomach, but I assure you it was really good tasting. Might be hard to see in the picture, but the roe is present throughout and provides a bit of texture, which constrast from the smooth mochi and sticky cheese. I would have never thought I would eat roe and cheese together, let alone with mochi as well, but for it to turn out really good was most surprising of all.
We had some drinks with our meal, which included from left to right, melon soda, soda with shochu and lemon shochu on the right. It is similar to Korean soju, but not exactly the same. After reading both articles I can't tell what the difference is, except that Korean Soju is usually made with rice, but the Japanese one can be made from a variety of ingredients. But Korean soju can also be made with other ingredients and Japanese Shochu can also be made with rice. Maybe the biggest difference is that shochu typically has more alcohol content than soju, but there are exceptions. Yes, all very confusing. I thought the drinks were pretty strong despite being mixed.
For dessert, we also used the grill. This time it was crepes with apricot on the right and red bean paste on the left. I'm not sure if we would be successful if we tried making this ourselves, but luckily our waitress helped us. She even cut it up into personal pieces for each of us!
It was neat how this one area in Tokyo specialized in these restaurants (>50) dedicated to this one dish, but I'm told each has it own unique take on it. Overall, a very unique experience that I don't think I would be able to find outside of Japan.
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