Course 4 - After the sashimi, came a warming thickened broth with generous dollops of crab meat encircling a whole radish, while not my favourite vegetable, was surprisingly crunchy and sweet and made me a new fan. If radishes are always like this, I can used to this..
Course 5 - the grilled sweet Ayu (river) fish. One of my favourite fishes to be grilled, it unfortunately is not widely available and I've only had occasion to eat it a grand total of 3 times since discovering it in Takayama not too long ago. The happily high Japanese gentleman who was chatty all night, upon seeing it, excitedly grabbed my chopsticks from my hand and proceeded to flatten the fish with my chopsticks so that the cooked meat, combined with the bloody innards of the fish to deliver a nice blend of flavours. He also pulled out the centre bone before retuning my chopsticks and leaving me to enjoy my fish.
Course 6 - Aburi sushi seemed to be the specialty of the house, especially when you start counting the number of times the blow torch was used in front of me. The combination delivered to us was each excellent in its own right. While the salmon belly and file fish are more common, they were nevertheless good. But of special mention is the very good beef, which hails from a region next to Kobe and is 95% as good as the real thing. The marbling is of course not as good but I like some meat as opposed to all marbling and gave a nice texture although not chewy at all. Very very good. My other new favourite is the botan ebi, topped with slightly spicy japanese mayo, bound by a seaweed flake, seared with the blow torch before being topped with caviar. Such decadent delight! Mmmm... I can still imagine the flavours bursting in my mouth..
Course 7 - While we would have liked more of the same, our tummies were reluctantly protesting and we soon got served musk melon and momo peach... a naturally sweet ending to an extraordinary meal. I can't wait to be back!