Monday, November 11, 2013

Grilled skewers with prized Takesumi Bamboo Salt

ABURI (Wan Chai)

I don't often eat Japanese grilled items because the first thing that springs to mind is skewers of meat covered in thick sticky sweet sauce.

Following a tasting at Charcoal Grill SHO-EN a few days agos, I was also invited to a tasting here which specializes in skewers too.
The difference here is that they put Takesumi Bamboo Salt on the skewers which are then grilled on super hot electric grills resulting in skewers with a really crispy texture.

"Takesumi Bamboo Salt is a carbonated salt topping made by packing the Japanese deep sea salt into the hollow shaft of bamboo and incinerating the stalks under 1000 to 1500 degrees centigrade for three whole days in a charcoal kiln.
Then the stalks are split and the carbon-infused salt is scraped out.
Takesumi Bamboo Salt is rich in mineral and has antioxidant and detoxifying properties.
The Japanese believes that Takesumi Bamboo Salt helps to infuse positive energy and boosts the immune system." quoted from the menu.

Here is what we tried:
Beetroot & Radish Salad $62:

The beetroot, perilla leaves and radish are painstakingly hand sliced into thin slices before slicing it into julienne salad.
This helps to retain its juices and vitamins.
When you eat them, you can just feel their natrual juices oozing out as you chew them.
I loved this refreshing salad because the taste was natrual and did not need any other sauces.
Tatami (baby sardine crackers) $48:
This was amazing, it was millions of baby sardines netted together in a crispy cracker.
The crackers were light and had a delicious roasted fishy taste.
Edamame $38:
The edamame beans were lightly salted but full of flavour.
Minced chicken stick with perilla $68:
It was minced chicken on a stick served with a vibrant orange egg yolk from Japan.
The minced chicken had ultra fine perilla shreds in it giving it a nice grassy touch and dipping it in the egg yolk was lovely.
The egg yolk was full of flavour and just right for dipping the minced chicken.
Asparagus wrapped with Pork $32:

The pork that was wrapped onto the asparagus was nano thin that you can barely see it but the pork gives it a slight savory taste keeping the asparagus moist when it is grilled.
Grilled rice balls $32:

As well as the Takesumi Inaniwa Udon you can also order this to share if your still feeling hungry.
The other foodies thought it was a bit plain but I loved it because I love plain rice, breads and potatoes.
It had a lovely crispy rice crust just like the burnt ones you find in ricepots, but this tastes better because it is fragrant and not bitter.
In the middle, there was lovely soft rice which tasted delicious with the Takesumi bamboo salt.
Grilled Tofu $20:

After taking photos and passing it round the tofu was still hot.
When I put my fork in it, there was steam coming out.
The tofu inside was lovely and soft whilst the outside was extremely crispy.
Grilled Fresh Eel $45:

I don't normally like eel, but the eel skin and coating was extremely light and crispy just like fried fish skin.
Grilled Chicken soft bone Cartilage $22:

The soft bone had a nice crunch with bits of chicken meat and chicken skin attached which was grilled to perfection giving a lovely chicken flavour with a perfect balance of chicken, skin and soft bones.
Grilled chicken livers $38:

These were chicken livers from the Chōshū Domain, they had a slightly starchy texture with a hint of bitterness.
They also had this other interesting grilled item which was chicken heart veins.
Grilled chicken soft breast bone cartilage:

Basically this was the chicken breast part near the bottom where it tends to be the most tender, however it was a bit too dry for my liking.
Soft-boiled Quail Eggs $28:

It was amazing how these quail eggs were skewered because each quail egg had a runny yolk.
Takesumi Inaniwa Udon $68

Soothing and cooling udon imported from Japan, these chilled charcoal noodles were perfect for cooling your mouth after eating some piping hot skewers.
On the right, there was a dipping broth made with atlantic mackerel and bonito flakes giving it full flare and there was ginger puree too to add some kick in it too.
Grilled chicken wings stuffed with whole scallops:

Usually grilled chicken wings are stuffed with dumpling meat or mentaiko, but these were stuffed with a huge scallop inside.
It was a nice contrast of juicy sweet scallop and salty crispy chicken skin on the outside.
Home-made ginger icecream and black sesame icecream $32:
Both the icecreams were nice but the ginger was my favourite because it had bits of ginger in it, however the texture was a little icy.
Overall, I was really impressed by their skewers and the price was shockingly affordable because the quality and taste was well above average.

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