Tasting Counter is a unique dining experience, a U-shaped counter with twenty seats along it. Service is at either 6:00 or 8:00. Diners begin and end together. There are no menus, there are no tips, there are not “add-ons”. You buy a ticket in advance, indicate allergies and aversions, pick a pairing, and the rest is up to them.
Most of the dishes were excellent and only one was bad. The room is attractive, though it sits just behind an industrial brewery, an odd combination at least. The service is friendly, though not once did anyone ask me if I liked what I was eating. The biggest down side is pacing. Everyone is served at the same speed. You have two hours to get through the dinner and so there is no way to speed up, or more importantly there is no way to slow down. Dishes come out one after another with little chance to pause. It doesn’t make for a very relaxing dinner.
Below are the 12 courses that made up my dinner. My favorite was the Red Sea Bream. Not only was the fish cooked beautifully, but the sake-beurre blanc was exceptional. I also enjoyed the Bay Scallop course and the Pork Shoulder course. The one course that was terrible was the Beef Sirloin Cap course. Though it looked pretty, the beef was extremely tough. I looked around the room to see everyone struggling to cut through it and take more chews then necessary to eat it. The potato puree it was served with was slightly mealy. Even the black truffles that topped the dish couldn’t save it, a complete disappointment.
beet cake & mascarpone
yellowtail, yuzukosho, wakame, rice
charred mandarin orange, almond, duck liver
seaweed cure, preserved lemon, black shallot, avocado, pomelo
preserved vegetables, cockles, pistachio, black olive
soured cream, parsley, sea urchin
RED SEA BREAM
green daikon, cultured butter, lime leaf, sake lees, sturgeon caviar
cuttlefish, risotto, savoy cabbage
pine nut & almond
macomber turnip, rapini, oyster, fermented red chili curry
BEEF SIRLOIN CAP
horseradish, potato mousse & confit
matcha & seaweed
soured cream, tonka bean, chocolate
coconut machi & lime leaf sugar
pumpkin seed praline chocolate
salted plum fruit chew