Japanese Specialty Food Festivity at Cilantro
Generally, I love oysters, but Oyster and Ice Cream?
Chef Takashi Kimura makes it possible to have it all, with his take on Kakiemon Oyster and Ice Cream with Konbu Jelly. Not quite the blob of ice cream as one would expect, the cream in this instance provides richness to the lightly grillled oyster served chilled, sitting in the shell with oyster broth mixed with the briny Konbu Jelly.
This was slurped down the throat way too easily, and my only complaint was there was only serving of this spectacular dish!
This was the second course in resident chef’s specially curated 6-course dinner for the Japanese Specialty Food Festivity, excluding the main course and dessert, held at Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar, Micasa Kuala Lumpur.
Another standout dish was the main course, Hitachi Beef with Shaved Perigord Truffles. Never have I seen such generous shavings of truffle, and its enveloping aroma greeted diners way before the actual dish arrived.
The only Hitachi I know relates to appliances but I now know the Hitachi Prefecture has other wonderful facets.The thin marinated slices of marbled beef were juicy, flavourful and melt in your mouth tender, and the perfect accompaniment to the fragrant sticky rice beneath, moistened by an artfully hidden onsen egg.
One other dish was particularly memorable though for different reasons. Shirako with Kabu, or cod milt (sperm sac) was a bizarre food contender, however, the taste was more than pleasant, akin to creamy egg custard. Actually, it reminded me of pig brains, which my mother used to cook for us when we were young before we knew any better and it became politically incorrect to cook such things!
The first course, MoArc Farm Fresh Baby Leaves with Carrot Vinaigrette, was pretty as a picture, while the Cold Capellini with Wasabi Flowers and Broth was comforting like a familiar bowl of somen. Eating wasabi flowers was a first for me, and it was surprisingly just as pungent as the actual horseradish itself.
Instead of Kuro Matsu, we had Grilled Amadai (tilefish or Japanese sweet sea bream), grilled to perfection for a crisp crunchy crust that revealed super fresh, soft and naturally sweet flesh.
For a moment, my tastebuds were a little confused as I tasted what seemed like kurma in the King Crab aux Epices, but it was chef Takashi’s clever mix of spices that provided the unique creamy bed for the succulent crab.
The ultimate dessert, surely, Ichigo (strawberries) imported from Japan, no less, to go with ice cream and champagne, made for a fitting end to an amazing culinary journey
‘Twas a feast for the gods, a chance for mere mortals to have a taste of heaven, a splendid marriage of east and west, with excellent blending of Japanese influences with French sensibilities.
This was the first in a line up of specialty dinners to come; the next will be a French culinary journey in June.