I don’t really do resolutions, which is why I haven’t posted any (last year’s, such as they were, are here). But I do have some goals in mind for this year, one of which is to try and eat at one new restaurant a week. Fukuoka is full of amazing places, but I have a bad habit of just going back to familiar places. I didn’t start with this until the second week, but I’m doing well so far.
My first new place was the chocolate cafe in the Iwataya department store, Jean-Paul Hevin Japon, because I wanted hot chocolate. They had a Valentine special already, but that involved tiny chocolates and I needed food, so I went for the La Douceur set, which was hot chocolate and pancakes. Tasty, and the individual hot chocolate menu looks heavenly, so I will go back at some point.
Then was our office shinnenkai (new year’s party) was at a Michelin 3-star kaiseki restaurant, Sagano. The interior decor was very traditional and lovely, as was the meal itself. Each dish was beautifully presented, and some of it was quite delicious, but not all of it was to my tastes, unfortunately (sea urchin, raw scallops). The single best dish was a gomadofu (sesame tofu) that I would love to have again.
The day after the party, I tried another new place. Nothing fancy, just a little tonkatsu (breaded, fried foods — much lighter fare than the description suggests, though) in the basement of the Solaria Stage. I went for a limited time dish: shiso ume hire katsu (perilla picked plum pork fillet). Sounds odd, but it was quite delicious. As is usual with katsu, it came with soup, rice and cabbage. A first for me, though, was the mortar filled with sesame seeds, which I was to grind up and use in the tonkatsu sauce. A good, inexpensive way to fill up.
Next was another work outing, this time a team dinner at an Italian place close to work, Antica Osteria Toto. Good fried squid, chicken pâté, lamb ragout and grilled veal. We opted for one of the course meals (antipasti, pasta, fish, meat, dessert), might go back for the larger course at some point.
And last for January was a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for years, but have never had time, Grill Dining Roselait in Queen’s Square in Yokohama. I still didn’t really have time, so all I had were appetizers, but now that I’ve flipped through the menu, definitely want to go back to try one of the pork dishes. But this time I just had fried tuna cheek with eggplant, and french fries with yuzu cream. The cream was crème fraîche, I am guessing, with yuzu kosho (yuzu pepper) and chives. It was citrusy, spicy and a tiny bit sour, and very intriguing. I had actually planned on stewed veggies as my side, but they were out, and the fries were a worthy substitute.
Looking forward to what February has in store, restaurant-wise!