Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Japanese Cuisine Update

Anna and I dined at the ever popular Ittyo in Porter Exchange last evening, where she had a tempura vegetable soba dish and I had eel and soba. One of the more surprising things we discovered about Ittyo is that they allow you to substitute vegetable broth for the classic fish broth, meaning that vegetarians and vegans are all set here... and not just restricted to curries. Anna really enjoyed her dish, and I have to say it was fairly cleverly constructed... as I noted previously, tempura disintegrates into the broth over time, creating nice layers of flavor as you eat, and as if to emphasize this, the chef created a large tempura... ball, I guess... of vegetables all stuck together. As the tempura came apart, she could take off pieces of broccoli or carrot or whatever. I had a little bit of it and thought it was really good... even the veggie broth.

My dish was a little different... it was basically this, but all on one plate:

So it was distinctly less pretty... which is what you'd expect from a tiny little stall in a mall.

Regardless, though it was in one dish, many of the same elements were present... broiled eel, soba noodles, soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled radishes. The mistake I made with it, was not adding a bit more soy sauce to the noodles and mixing in the wasabi and radishes at the very beginning. I ate everything sort of piecemeal, adding touches of wasabi as I went. It still was quite tasty, but I would have consumed it differently in retrospect.

I think it's probably time to hit up Fugakyu and do the udon thing... as much as it pains me to not get a pile of sushi and my favorite sushi place(I'll still get some), I need to see what things are like at a top end Japanese restaurant. I feel like I've gotten as much as I can from the Food Court options, though I'll certainly come back for a reasonably priced and good tasting meal.

image used under a Creative Common's license by flickr user roboppy