Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Although Mimi’s research internship was over, I couldn’t let her leave without showing her the delectable desserts of Kyoto-fu. We shared a Summer Berry Anmitsu and Kaiseki prix fixe, which seems to have expanded since I last came here with Jan-Jan. I was pretty surprised that the tasting came with 5 desserts instead of the usual 3, not that I’m complaining!
The anmitsu was the perfect summer dessert: refreshing passion fruit sorbet, cool agar jello cubes, chewy mochi chunks, and chilled red bean topping. The crisp fruity ice crystals in the sorbet easily quenched the heat from outside. The presentation was amazing too, with a palette of bright colors that embodied the concept of summer festivals. We couldn’t stop spooning the sweet sorbet into our mouths, even after it had melted.
The first course of our Kaiseki prix fixe was the Black Sesame Sweet Tofu immersed in a hojicha syrup. The tofu had a soft, flan-like consistency with a light mild flavor. However, black sesame has a strong taste so it left the tofu with a rich nutty scent. The ground sesame bits also left a slight grittiness on the tongue, a surprisingly nice feeling like warm beach sand between the toes. The hojicha syrup left a slight tea leaf taste, very delicate. Mimi said she enjoyed eating this after a few spoons of the Green Tea Creme Brulee.
The brulee was as delicious as I remembered it. I’m pretty impressed with the consistency of its quality but always find myself wanting of more green tea flavor. I only wish the chef may alter his recipe in the future to incorporate more matcha. Nonetheless, the crunchy burnt glaze and creamy dense brulee still brings me delight each time. Mimi, too!
Chocolate Miso Brownie, you will always be my true love! Except now I have brought you another admirer… This dessert easily became Mimi’s favorite out of what we had tasted so far. (It was mine when I first tried the tasting too!) The genius of this dessert is how magically the miso complements complements dark chocolate so well, bringing out the rich undertones. The dense, rich cake was topped with a moist light cream. Then there was the towering crisp cookie, the passion fruit anglaise base, need I say more?
The Blueberry Yuzu Crumble was a new addition to the prix fixe. This dessert was really exotic, leaving me with the most questions. It had a unique, puzzling taste that I couldn’t quite figure out. The berries were preserved in a sour sweet syrup but there was something more… a slight curry-like aftertaste? It left me thinking of chicken tikka marsala… Mimi suggested that perhaps the chef had added some tumeric powder. I know that sounds like such a crazy ingredient for a dessert, but the effect wasn’t all that bad. It tasted pretty good! Another thing I tried to dissect was the contents of the berry preserves. Aside from blueberry there seemed to be some other fruit that I guessed might have been cranberry? Thin layers of crumble floated in the preserves. This was definitely the most interesting of the prix fixe!
Finally, the last new addition to the tasting was the Raspberry Cheesecake. I instantly fell in love with the first bite. The raspberry cake was very tart, reminding me of pinkberry froyo except creamier and denser. A thin layer of crumble served as the cake’s base. Rich like a cheesecake, but fruity and light so it didn’t get sickening after a few bites. Dipped in strawberry sauce on the side for a refreshing flavor. Did I mention I fell in love with the first bite? With each consecutive bite, it got even better! Mimi loved this one a lot too, stating that it tasted really familiar. I thought so too; it tasted kind of fobby, like the Asian yogurt drinks I had when I was little…