Nogawa part 2
This was definitely an eye-opener. Japanese eggplant marinated in brine, soy sauce, vinegar and chilli powder for three days, then served chilled and eaten skin and all. Our chef later showed us the bottle, it looked like a House of Horrors apothecary jar, really terrifying. But the end result was a firm, crunchy, incredibly tasty eggplant that tasted more like fruit than vegetable. Very refreshing. Will keep it in mind for Weird Science home kitchen experiments days.
Even more free stuff: Crab liver
Yeah looks like fish cake or lotus root but is actually a quarter of a lobe of a gigantic crab liver. Who knew? This was really yummy - creamy and rich without being fatty. No idea what the little bits in the holes are but they were sweet and chewy like bak kua, affording you a good 30 seconds of additional chewing pleasure after you've finished the liver. I swear I am not making this up.
Almost the end! Stuff in miso
Two pics of these just because it was so pretty. The stuff that looks like cheese at the bottom of the foil is actually miso, while the ingredients consisted of wagyu beef, kurobuta pork, foie gras, some fish (who the hell cares what type of fish when you have all that other stuff??? ok it was probably some rare fish, but I was too elated to care), yam, green peppers, leeks and enoki mushrooms. Happy boy and girl.
The chefs were evidently very proud of this as they interrupted my photo taking to arrange the dish at several different angles :)
Dessert freebie: Marinated plums
In case you had wondered where all my raving about dedication and effort in preparation came from, this is case in point. These plums were simmered for three days in a special syrup. But in order to prevent the plums from expanding and bursting their skin, the chefs first had to poke hundreds of tiny pinholes into each and every plum by hand! The plums look a bit grainy in the photo, but those are really the little holes. Quite unbelievable. The end result is plum flesh that is soft, gooey and melt in your mouth - really the texture (but fortunately not the taste) of durian.
Last one (phew): Konnyaku noodles in brown sugar syrup
The Japanese equivalent of gula melaka. Too exhausted to write more :)
So there you go, Nogawa in a not-so-nutshell! In conclusion: if you haven't gone before, please try it, and if you have tried it: why the hell didn't you tell me sooner?!?!?!?!?