Saturday, March 02, 2013

Sassy and classy with Seiro steaming

Gin Sai - 吟彩
G/F, 37 The Oakhill, 32-38 Cross Lane, Wan Chai
Tel: 2574 1118


I would just like to Thank the communications team at Gin Sai for inviting me and arranging another day because their date clashed with one of my other tastings.

It is located on the quiet end of Wan Chai at The Oakhill which are new luxury apartments under the Lai Sun Group.
At the entrance, there is a huge black door which is mysterious and slightly daunting.
Initially I wondered if I could open that door myself because it was like opening the door to a tall castle.
The door was not as heavy as I imagined and upon entering, the grand restaurant appeared in front of my eyes with people ready to greet you.
There was classy lighting that lit the room.

There are no windows just like Kanizen which is a great hideout for celebrities and a nice place for them to hold private functions because it is conveniently located on the corner of the road for them to be dropped off.

At their restaurant opening it was attended by Janice Man and Vidal.
While I was there, I managed to see Raymond Yuk Man Wong and Priscilla Ku!
There was a grand private room at the far end for those who want privacy.

GIN SAI is headed by Chef Ando, formerly of award-winning Kitcho restaurant in Kyoto offering premium cooked Japanese food.
They specialize in Robatayaki and Seiro steamer dishes (stacked wooden steamers) which is rare in Hong Kong to use these tiered Seiro steamers.

They also do French-Japanese fusion desserts.
There is a long bar that runs from the middle of the restaurant to the end which are split into different sections, a section for Robatayaki, Oden, Tempura and so on.... At this tasting I tried the tasting menu which was a sample of their best items.
Each course was paired with Sake which all tasted nice. ★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★
Appetizer: It was three items presented exquisitely, the Octopus with roe on the spoon, the kelp in vinegar and sea urchin in a pretty glass bowl.
The octopus was delicious especially the roe. The kelp in vinegar was really refreshing and the vinegar was very appetizing.
Lastly I tried the sea urchin served on silky tofu skin.
The sea urchin and tofu skin was submerged in delicious savoury sauce that did not over power the sea urchin whilst giving it maximum umami taste.
I loved the way, the tofu was really soft because it did not distract you from the urchin which literally melted in my mouth.

On the plate was seabream, a huge boton ebi with head included and toro fish.
The toro fish was as fat as it could have been which was creamy and delectable.
The sashimi used at this restaurant is high quality.
(See smpk's review below as there is a photo of the Sashimi)

This was probably the best Oden I have ever tried because the soup tasted natrually sweet with the white radishes in the broth and the beef was tender and soft.
(See smpk's review below as there is a photo of the Oden)
Fried dish:
Each of the tempura was served one after the other, the prawn tempura was served first, followed by the octopus and urchin in seaweed.
First I had the prawn tempura which was suggested to go with plain salt, it was delicious and crispy with an extremely thin coating of tempura.

Next was the squid wrapped in Perilla leaves with spicy roe in the middle which was visually colourful.
The cod roe in the middle and squid tasted perfect together because the spicy roe added flavour to it.

Last but not least was the best of the fried items!
It looked cute and black, but it was delicate sea urchin wrapped in seaweed which was dipped into tempura and fried.
The seaweed and tempura were crisp and light bursting with delicious urchin in the middle.
Grilled dish:
I had grilled chicken skewers which were my favourite and grilled padron peppers which was a nice and light. The darker colour one was grounded chicken leg which had a meatier taste and texture, while the paler one was chicken neck which I am baffled how they made it because there is not much meat on the neck of a chicken.
The taste of this skewer was nice and delicate and the chicken meat was really tender.
The padron peppers tasted similar to green peppers but without the sweetness and it was slightly bitter.
Steamed dish:
This was the highlight of the evening, it was a pot of water beneath the wooden box which was heated, thus steaming it.
Depending on the number of the people the size of the Seiro varies and there are two tiers for the beef and the portion size is bigger for more people.
For the steamed beef there are always 2 stacks, the upper box is for the sliced vegetables to absorb the beef juices.
Their dining tables were spacious so after the Seiro was placed on the table, there was plenty of room for other dishes and drinks. The vegetables were steamed first and the wagyu beef slices were added later. The steaming was really quick and the food was ready in a flash, the vegetables were tender and sweet and there were lots of sauces to go with it.
When it is served, the vegetables are placed on the slice of beef and rolled up and eaten together.
The wagyu beef was so soft and melts in your mouth and the vegetables are really tasty because it has absorbed the beef juices.
Seasonal rice dish: I was really lucky to try this because it was a seasonal dish and may need advanced ordering to reserve it.
It was fried rice topped with generous freshly fried sakura shrimps.
The rice initially looked like the Chinese fried glutinous rice/Ceramic pot rice but the taste was really different and the sakura shrimps in it gave it a lovely crustean taste with crispy mouthful.
Green tea mousse cake: To finish off, I had the green tea mousse which was light and dreamy with the sweetness just right.
Their desserts are guaranteed to be good because their dessert chef is from Central's Robochon.
Green tea:
This was provided and the green tea taste was strong with some bitterness.

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