Saturday, January 27, 2007

Minato, the Sequel

Returned to Minato last night, and remembered why I keep going back! This time, I tried a whole new array of things - I like to do that on return visits. I got seated quickly and was allowed to peruse the menu, for a while. And it took me a damn good while to figure out what I wanted, too. At first, noting that this place also had the name of Cafe Viet, I thought about ordering some Vietnamese. I then found of a total of, oh, three Vietnamese dishes (some selection). So I stuck with Japanese.

I almost always order sake, but this time it was the plum wine that beckoned to me. The waitress was very helpful in trying to find out for me just how much wine I would be getting - 50mL is not big, but I just can't picture it in my head. I eventually settled on a glass of Kikoman (no, not related to the soy sauce - at least I don't think so). This was a very desserty wine (about $4.50), tangy and sweet. On the first sip, I was very pleasantly surprised. Funny thing though, my next thought was "Hmmm, tastes a little bit like cough syrup." But in a good way. Please don't let that deter you. It may taste a little like cough syrup, but it's still tasty, even for someone who isn't a wine person.

I ordered the sashimi appetizer ($7.50), as I often do in Japanese places. There was some wonerful fish, not all of which I could identify. One looked a little like lumpy raw pork and smelled, well, interesting. It also felt a little slick, in a way raw fish shouldn't. So I waited for the waitress, who told me it was fatty tuna, and was a little more expensive than most sashimi - and very popular! That explains the slickness (the fat). So I tried it. A little chewy, but the flavor was indescribable. Very tasty! I'll have to ask for this by name next time.

For my final dish, I ordered a bowl of noodles (again, I have Wagamama on the brain). This preparation, their tempura soba ($10.50), was a bowl of hot buckwheat noodles with two large pieces of shrimp tempura, sitting in a hot broth with assorted Japanese vegetables. The tempura got a little soggy after sitting in the broth, but duh. Again, very tasty.

It all came to about $26 after tip, a little more than I like to spend, but about right for a sushi place (which is why I don't eat it very much, natch).