Kadowaki, Azabu Juban かどわき、麻布十番
When making the booking at Kadowaki I really was surprised that I managed to lock in a table just a night in advance. After all, this almost secret establishment has not one but two of those coveted Michelin stars! I suppose this is what gives them the right to condescendingly tell me to let them know if I change my mind. Well, there was not much chance of that and when it came to it, it turned out that I had booked two very cramped counter seats facing a rather stern looking chef brandishing one heck of a sushi knife. The "hattori hanzo" of sushi knives I fantasised!
What you get to eat for dinner here is entirely up to the discretion of the master of the house. So I recommend you mind your manners and keep in mind that he speaks English before you pass your free comments upon sitting down. I think this may be the reason that my dining partner and I, despite making an undoubtedly glamorous and cultured pair, were denied the divine looking Japanese lobster that everyone else seemed to be getting. I can't get over thinking what might have been...
But it's always best in life to focus on all the blessings you already have, so I shall run down the culinary score of the evening. We opened, perhaps somewhat shakily, with a bowl of fishy bits covered in fish eggs. This was followed by what was, in my opinion, the most interesting thing we ate that night - just a little a square of tofu with wasabi and soy. That doesn't sound amazing at first, but this tofu had like a thin skin on it which, when broken, gave up a lush ooze of pillowy softness zinged with the wasabi and soy. Actually my dining partner works in the commercial flavour business so had a much more articulate take on the flavour notes than I. But, needless to say, it was NOICE!
Next we were treated to a dish of potato and prawn with a yummy semi-clear glug. I have no idea what the glug was made of, but it was delicious. Following this was the most interesting contrast of flavours, and perhaps more aptly, temperatures I had had in a while - a crab chawan mushi (egg custard) topped with freeze dried squid ink. It sounds simple enough but the contrasts in the dish of flavour and temperature made this one of the most interesting things I've eaten for some time.
Next cab off the rank was grilled crab meat served in its shell and topped with uni. I would have preferred the uni not to have been grilled with the crab, but I nitpick...Following this, sashimi (maybe it was yellowtail) on a bed of ice with mountain potato, onion shoots and some other assorted vegetative freshnesses was served.
As if was not enough, we were served what counts in my book as the ultimate two star Asian comfort food. Boiled rice with fresh black truffle mixed through. Divine! To finish, we were handed a small but intriguing dessert of red bean, white panacotta style pudding, matcha, red bean and black sugar sauce.
All this was washed down, first with a half bottle of big brand champers (can't remember which one) and then with a 2006 Puligny Montrachet. It was the first time I have ordered the most expensive wine on a wine list anywhere, and it certainly would have out-performed Yellow Tail even in a blind taste test ;-)
So, as you can see, a good time was had by all and if you need to ask how much it cost...well you know the rest of the saying. Suffice it to say that a little indulgence is necessary every now and then and I regret nothing...except, now where'd that lobster go???