Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Merdeka

Selamat Merdeka!!!!
Read about the cake I baked 2 years back *click here*....nvm that its stripes were wrong, coz it was so impromptu and was changed thanks to pressure from my good friend Mee Mee...... Kakakaka. Enjoy and Happy baking there.

Friday, August 29, 2014 eating~~~

Yes it's either eating or drinking away...I don't have any new found hobby yet so far. Maybe the next hobby should be diet-ing. It only makes sense to have equal amount of input vs output.

JS, Monkey and the hobbits are the Land of Smiles. SAWADEE KAA!!!! did u miss me??? I sure did.

Enjoy the long weekend folks!!!!

Teppanyaki @ Katsura Prince Hotel, Sapporo

The sun sets beautifully over the forested mountainous terrain on the west. On the north is already the Sea of Japan. At the top floor of Prince Hotel Sapporo, one can see so far ahead. Any trips to Japan isn't complete before indulging in yummylicious, fatty marbling, pure breed of japanese beef. So we got locals like Chef Kamimura to introduce us to some nice place for a good teppanyaki.
It was Mark and Rouxin's last evening in Sapporo before heading to Hong Kong. While the rest of the Sapporo Gourmet Club peeps have already left Japan, oh well except Captain Chris and family...they usually stay for a month wherever they are headed to. That explains why he has such in-depth connection and knowledge when it comes to the Land of the Rising Sun. :))))

Chef Kamimura gave us details and we got the hotel concierge to book this restaurant. It wasn't that difficult to find bcoz Prince Hotel is one of the highest building in the city. You can't really build too high here in Japan. We didn't wanna get lost nor run late and hopped into the cab. Seriously the taxi fares here in Japan is about those in Singapore. Either the Yen is so weak or Singapore is seriously the world's most expensive city to live in.

Watching our food being prepared is such joy....the foie gras were sizzling away...releasing its aroma and fatty jus. Yeah foie gras has got so much of fat content innit, so technique is very important in preparation and cooking it. The thickness is also important so that you'll achieve the firmness and slight crisp on the outside but beautiful rareness and creaminess on the inside....which just melts in ur mouth. Definitely better than ice creams. 

and in order not to burn the foie gras, chef usually dust the outside with some flour to protect it.

and then covered it with this copper cover, commonly used at all teppanyaki restaurants.

As the foie gras was still cooking, the Octopus carpaccio arrived with some raw greens, pickled radish and light bonito gelee.

Homemade pickled ginger and cress

Would u just looked at the golden foie gras?? Chef then added some fleur de sel on top for that extra crunch. Yea sea salt not only to season it but for that bite and crunch.

aiks...forgot to snap pic of its middle section, it was pink and creamie and rare and yummmzzzzzz. Very sedap la!!

Hello helloooo prawnies and abalones~~~~
after my greeting, one of the prawns jumped outta the basket and landed on the floor.

O.O opssssss 
Chef quickly apologised and got a new one. Notti notti notti prawnie. I am gonna eat ya!!!

As the fresh live abalones were being placed on the hot pan. It was moving and squirming around. Yikes!!! I love abalones but can't bear to watch them moved around. They tried to get outta its shell, touched the hot pan and quickly stepped back into the shell. It's HOT!!!!

In less than a minute, they have stopped moving. May you rest in peace. I mean may you rest in our stomachs. Chef have done justice to you, so you will not die of waste. You have grown so beautifully and cultivated in such strict conditions in perfection. You have served your purpose....amen~~~~ Can we eat now???

Chef then meticulously removed the green liver. It's HUGE!!!! abalone livers are the most prized part, so it will be cooked separately.

and now your liver~~~~
gosh we had goose liver and now abalone liver...

the livers were then covered in its own shell to be cooked again.

Prawnies were then trimmed and placed onto the hot pan.

We watched in amazement as the chef skilfully de-shelled, de-veined and cooked the prawns with his utensils. I can't even hold a knife properly, prollie either the prawns or the shells or worse.....the sharp knife would fly over the table counter.

the abalones looked kinda ready

when he popped open the abalone shell, its liver underneath it oso looked very very ready

Chef then in a samurai swish swosh action sliced the abalone thinly like this

Our Chef is tall and quite good looking, with an even more good looking sommelier at the background watching and attending to our needs. Why are ppl in Hokkaido so so tall??? Must be their diet and genetics bcoz Hokkaido is so far north and their ancestors were Ainu people. Ainu are indigenous ppl of Hokkaido, mixture of Russian and Japanese.

History class aside, we now have something else on the basket. Lobster with some vegetables.

at least they are not moving anymore....kakakakak well if being halved into 2 like this and they are still moving, I would have doubts if we are eating the Alien or the Predator....*kkkllllllllleeeeeeeeeek klllllluuuuuukkkkkkkk*

the 2 main lobster pinchers were removed expertly without HANDS into the pan, its brains were taken out onto the hot plate *those 2 blobs of stuffs on the right*

hmmmmmm......I sensed that we have already exceeded our cholesterol allowance for the WEEK!!!!

Such a beautiful dish!!!!
the lobster meat was sweet with the right texture, its brain was creamie, the little beautiful vegetables added colors and texture to this dish.

First time I m seeing COOKED peas inside its pods!!! So big~~~~ and sweet too

our palate cleanser was some simple egg custard with gelee and sea urchin. One cannot miss any sea urchin in Hokkaido. It's a staple. Now tell me by far, which dish has got the least cholesterol? It's sinful but nvm, it's not like we are eating this everyday, though I don't mind :P pfffffttttt

Superb Prime Pedigree Beef, A5
So so so beautiful. I could stare at it for a long long time.

Hokkaido is famous for their homegrown potatoes and 2/3 of the entire production in Japan. You may ask why grow so many potatoes and they are not Brits, they don't eat that much of potatoes right? I asked the same question till the answer came to me from higher above - the alcoholics. Potatoes are the main ingredients for making Shochu the clear colored spirits. Ohhhhh sou des neh!!!

The pea pods are seriously long!!!

I could see the fat and its jus and the grain of the meat. You think it's too overcooked eh?

Ta-DA!!!!! it's pink on the inside!!!! and so rare, just the way a beef steak should be.

Nom NOm NOm NOM NOM~~~~~
best thing was, everything was cut to bite size, so easy to eat :)))) just with our chopsticks.

Ohhhhh what's next????

OMG....fried rice!!! everyone's weakest point

We got so excited and doubled the portion!!!! hahahahaha

What's that surprise??? Beef fats!!!!!!!!

the mount of rice was pressed down to be cooked further until it's almost charred.

Look at that.............just look at it....
I want a bowl now!!!!! slurp!!!

Homemade pickles

a simple miso clam soup

finally it's dessert time and Monkey went bonkers looking at the bananas being caramelised in front of her.

flambe flambe~~~~

served with chocolate pecan nuts ice cream.....sooooooooooooooooooo good!!!!

The other dessert was a dollop ice cream and molasses syrup.

Our dinner finished too could be we ate and drank too fast. Hahahaha no pics of the 2 bottles of wines we had though. This restaurant allows diners to bring their own at a minimal charge.

Rouxin and Mark
We then decided to best way to burn all those calories would be to walk back to our hotel!!! It wasn't a difficult walk bcoz we passed by so many interesting shops at the 1km long Tanukikoji shopping arcade. We made a few pit stops looking/buying some stuffs along the way.

OpppssssSSSssss and got distracted by the Beer Festival that was on going in Sapporo at the same time. Then we bought more grilled pork and drinks at the beer festival, enjoying the summer breeze and conversation. The Yebisu Premium Black Beer was awesome!!! Do wait for our next posting on Sapporo Beer Factory visit soon....soon...akan datang!!

Happy weekend peeps!!!!