Saturday, January 1, 2011

XMAS Eve AMS 2012

Bagels & Beans

Large cappucinos with sugar bowl (including chocolate covered coffee beans).
Sugar, being just one, had the Caprese Bagel which seems very droll, as if how-served in Napoli, if you see how I mean . . . 8^D

Mrs & I, being two, had the Tapas Bagel, as if how-served in Barcelona . . . 8^D . . . tapenade, sun-dried tomatos, salmon mousse, cheese & parma ham, gaucomole, and cheese mousse. Tables are very small, but the delightful staff makes it part of the adventure as they shuffle your drinks and plates like a tetris playing meth-addict . . . 8^D
When I googled Michelin Restaurants in Amsterdam, this is one that came up . . . We were all very interested to see what would elevate Sushi from merely something to-die-for to a Michelin Star.
We were struck by the vision of these koi "swimming" in the pond outside our window where we were seated. We agreed it was an impossible shot, thru glass and half-frozen water but Sugar made the best of it . . . while it is possible that at some Michelin restaurants they might object to photo taking like a camera-happy tourist, but at a japanese restaurant this turns out not to be a worry . . . the manager saw us and stopped by to tell us about the recent journey of the koi, back to Japan to be treated for a fungus . . . those must be some valuable koi, to fly to Japan and back for medical treatment . . . 8^D

They started us off with some cherry-blossom liqueur floated into champagne. A very delicate apertif. While we perused the menu . . . hah! . . . there wudn't any doubt what I was doin' . . . .the a#1 biggest & best you got!

Does this look like Brill marinated in sheets of kelp to you?

I forget . . . was into the cheap sake by now . . . as a matter of prudence, tho' I was eating the most expensive menu on the - er, uh - menu, I was drinking 8E a pot sake, instead of the 45E sake . . . but this is somethin' jelly-like with a tiny bit of roe, ontop of some crunchy, citrusy stuff on top of a lime slice. We didn't eat the lime slice -- unsure of ourselves -- but in our sophistication, we also didn't lick the lime clean. 
We all tho't this was really awesome, so many different tidbits . . . but there was a moment of consternation there, when -- reviewing the menu -- Sugar realized that one of the dishes had been duck instead of fish . . .
but then with a shrug we forged onward . The purple thing in the middle isn't listed, it's just some vegetable, but I think it was a sort of onion or radish . . . it was really picquaunt.

The fish soup in a tea pot "Dobin Mushe" may not show up well here in a simple visual medium. In person, with all 5 senses engaged, this is an outrageous dish . . . and if someone would be curious how you could sit and eat for 4 hours, this dish would explain it . . . first you drink the soup . . . 6 or 8 little tea cups full of liquid . . . you don't want to rush thru this . . . and we talked hither and yon like we were at a teaparty, rather than dinner, if you see how I mean . . .  when finally came time to open the tea pot and eat the goodies, there were fish pieces, shrimp, small veggies. There was something mushy in there . . . Mrs didn't eat it . . . but, in Lupe mode, I pressed forward . . . if I was guessing I would say fish-lung, which you can see thru, I reckon . . .

We had opted out -- as the restaurant allows one to do -- for having the YellowFin in preference to some other less-endangered fish for the Sashimi Dish. I suppose that helps some people digest . . . but for me, even tho' I did it, all I could think of was that some rich guy who doesn't care about the fishery is going to eat the last YellowFin, instead of me, and I Believe that the Yellowfin would rather have someone who thinks about their situation eat the last one . . . like, as if, conserving gasoline helps anyone but the richest people who will still be able to have combustible engine cars burning carbon fuels longer, if you see what I mean . . . I frequently mutter to myself, that I should burn all my own fossil fuels now, even as I take buses, trams, & trains everywhere.
All these pictures will enlarge if you click on them . . . is that clear? I mean, this one is the one to click on, to get up inthereclose and see the sensuous red lobster meat glistening on top of the turnip mash mixed with white meat lobster bits. Back in Texas you'd call such a thing a stuffed-shrimp, but this is a couple orders of magnitude past that.
Yes, yes, yes, the sushi & sashimi is all very nice, but the tempura was what was amazing to us .. . OHHHHhhhhh! THIS is what tempura is supposed to be like instead of some exotic Long John Silver's menu item! The large yellow bits . . . this is another photo to zoom in on . . . are the potato-pumpkin batter shrimp & salmon, the large orange bit is the scallop . . . all mouth watering. We enjoyed the pepper the most- just the way we are, can't help it... that leaf artfully tempuraed was in several of the dishes . . . very pungeunt & spicy, every which way. The swiss-cheese thingy we don't know . . . (turnip slice?) . . . crunchy . . .underneath it all was a whisk of wheat stalks made out of pastini with daubs of dough to make the heads . . .the chef happened by at that time, saw us puzzling over it, and assured us we could eat it . . . so we dipped it in tempura sauce ...
I looked at Mrs with despair and desperation when the waiter brought the next course: "There's Two More Courses" I gasped. . . .I can't make it! But Sugar coolly consulted the menu, "It's OK," she consoled us, this is not just one course, but the last two courses together!"
So great! If we can muddle this enough for them to take it away, then only dessert would be left!
I knew I was close to the edge. So I ate the crab with steamed rice with the mixed pickled vegetables first, even tho' the menu showed it last . . . I needed the encouragement of condiment-like entree's. Then I tho't I could pick at my beef cooked on an Old Magnolia Leaf. I think the Hoba Miso had some mushroom and aubergine in it, pieces I mean, not flavours. That was very fine beef, but the fillet was large enough to exceed our wildest ambitions or hungers . . . it was very fine. We can still taste the Okra as we write this . . . OMG it seems like years since we had Okra like this good.
Sure, I was full . . . bloated . . . feeling like a general glutton . . . but when I tho't of my ancestors fallen prey to the hard times of the 30s, I felt like I was eating for them, enjoying this very fine cuisine to the benefit of our collective familial unconcious . . . if you see how I mean . . . the menu doesn't mention the best thing on the plate - is that intentional, like a surprise-thingy? - the Green Tea pudding ball. . . the Kaki is wonderful too. I guess if you're flying your koi off to japan for fungus -treatment, then fresh kaki is no challenge at all.

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