Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Izakaya S&T: Appetizers

It might sound strange that I am talking about 'appetizers' in an izakaya setting, but since Izakaya S&T is actually more like part-izakaya, part-ryotei (a full-fledge dining establishment), my meal at Izakaya S&T definitely had a sequence of events during my gastronomic adventure.

We were greeted with the chamame as soon as we sat at the table as an opener. The appetizers soon followed, which really kicked off the meal by awakening our epicurean senses.

First came an interesting twist on the 'morokyu' theme, in which moromi-miso ('moro') is usually paired with cucumbers ('kyu'). At Izakaya S&T, the miso was not the average moromi-miso, but was the 'ninniku-miso' or garlic miso. Thinly sliced garlic was marinated in a semi-sweet savory miso, giving a periodic garlic-y kick to the rich condensed umami of the miso. The cucumber crunch provided texture and refreshing vegetable juices with each bite.

miso

Then, came the clam saka-mushi ("sake-steamed"). I couldn't get enough of this, especially since I am a big mollusk lover.

sakamushi
Not a grain of sand in this preparation! The carrots were decoratively sliced, acting as a dash of color as well as a sweet contrast to the savory broth. The broth was simply divine, after absorbing the briny clam juices into its sake backbone. The clams were tender and soft, cooked to the perfect timing of done-ness. Because this dish was light without any added oil, it acted as the perfect appetizer that made me even more hungry afterwards. I literally licked my fingers, waiting for more deliciousness once I finished these clams...

This delicious feast continued for two more delicious 'courses'...

3 comments:

eatdrinknbmerry said...

i always get the clam dish. first, a nice serving of savory clams, followed by excellent broth. i wish they sold canned clam broth. i'd definitely use it as a soup base for noodles.

The Papa Bear said...

The pictures are making me hungry again.

Alice said...

Hi, Dylan,

You're such a good cook, I bet you could make your own batch and have it frozen and ready!

Papa,

Yeah, me too. And I just ate a huge piece of steak!