Monday, January 24, 2011

Fine Dining Review: Restaurant Kurosawa - Nagatacho Kurosawa (Tokyo, Japan)

Nagatacho Kurosawa *


Named after legendary Japanese film director/producer Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, RAN, etc) and run by the Kurosawa clan, we were invited to dinner at Nagatacho Kurosawa by a Japanese friend. Nagatacho Kurosawa is famous for its shabu-shabu and supposedly the place to spot celebrities. Located near the Prime Minister's office, the restaurant also offers hand-made soba (buckwheat noodles) & A la Carte selection.

Shabu-shabu actually refers to the swishing noise as one swishes the meat back and forth in the hot pot. Apart from the shabu-shabu itself, one of the other treats of the meal is usually the wonderfully flavoured broth at the end of the meal.

Starters - root vegetables, arrowroot cake with salmon roe

With our shabu-shabu, the hot pot is filled with clear dashi broth which is predominantly made of bonito and konbu. Once it is fired up, we "shabu-shabu-ed" thinly sliced Kurobuta (Japanese Black Berkshire pork) as well as Kagoshima black beef - both were wonderfully marbled and meltingly tender. The accompanying sesame sauce was wonderful but the meats were so good, they were stand-alone.

The STARS of the meal - thinly sliced and amazingly marbled black beef and black pork
At the end of the meal, eggs were scrambled by the table side and mixed into the hot pot, which is now filled with a broth flavoured with all the wonderful flavours of the beef and pork. This was then served into bowls of rice.This was truly delightful despite both of us feeling completely stuffed by now.

Mixing through the scrambled egg into the flavoursome and wonderfully coloured dashi

Dashi with eggs served with rice

Desert - more food!
A lovely dining experience (even for non-movie buffs) paired with a good selection of sake and soju, and all in a restaurant created to evoke Kurosawa's samurai movies. Arigato, Oba-san!

Fine Dining Rating: 15/20

By Gastronomic G.

Rating explained:
Scores 18 to 20 = *** (3 stars) = World class and close to perfection
Scores 16 to <18 = ** (2 stars) = An exceptional and special dining experience
Scores 15 to <16 = * (1 star) = Very good to great dining experience
Scores 13 to <15 = Good but not memorable
Scores 10 to <13 = Acceptable
Scores <10 = Are you sure you want to eat here?

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