For those of you who aren't regular viewers Michiba is the Japanese Iron Chef in the blue outfit, who is the least defeated of all of the Iron Chefs. Michiba has several restaurants but we had heard that the Ginza one Restaurant Kaishoku Michiba was his signature one. Although we didn't spot the master himself (we guessed he probably wouldn't be there for a lunch session) we did meet his daughter. In Japan, lunch set menus are a very reasonably priced way of eating at fairly expensive restaurants. Dinner, of course, is another matter and price bracket all together!
The restaurant was very busy and since we had a last minute booking, the were able to fit us in from 12noon -1.30pm. There were two menus to choose from but since time was a factor the waiter politely suggested that the first one would be best. We had:
New Year's Goho-zen Menu
¥3150 (about $32AUD)
_steamed sushi wrapped in a bamboo leaf and sprinkled with salmon eggs
(sushi rice filled with bamboo shoot, egg, shrimp and shiitake mushroom)_
The Hors d'oeuvre was a beautifully decorated and delicately flavoured sushi rice with a generous smattering of salmon eggs (yum!). And who knew you _could _serve sushi hot despite all of those jokes about people microwaving their raw sushi?
_four individual main dishes served on a lacquered tray:
-seasonal sashimi (yellowtail)
-tender simmered daikon radish topped with glazed spanish mackerel, garnished with spinach, leek ginger and Japanese pepper leaves
-the Chef's original version of the traditional New Year's Zoni soup
(tomato and miso flavoured chicken broth with chicken sticky rice cake, taro and spinach)
-dish of the day (hmm counting the dishes on the plate, I wonder what this was?)_
The yellowtail sashimi was fresh as fresh could be and the New Year's Zoni soup was an unexpected taste sensation as I don't usually think of tomato with miso together. My favourite would have to be the simmered daikon with the spanish mackerel, perhaps because it was very cold outside, this was a very warming and soothing dish. Also the hand made udon noodles were perfectly cooked with enough spring and softness, such a simple dish but perfect.
Rice and Noodle dish your choice of:
_Plain rice served with a fragrant miso soup (akadashi) and pickles
or udon (thick wheat noodles) served either hot or cold_
Yuzu Citrus Mousse_
The dessert, a Yuzu citrus mousse was apparently made out of tofu which I had seen them do on Iron Chef and it was heaven in a cup. The Yuzu, a tart citrus fruit that's a cross between a sour mandarin and Ichang papeda it tastes like marmalade and the sharpness of the fruit combined with the creamy voluptousness of the mousse was superb.
I guess it goes without saying that it was all delicious and they treated us very well especially when they found out we were Iron Chef fans (a giveaway when you start taking photos of the food I suppose). The lovely waiter gave us all of these things including a couple of samples of his calligraphy and brochures and brought out Michiba's daughter to meet us and we got a photo with her (she looks so much like him) and she gave us this special large card with his famous calligraphy and his hanko (stamp).
PS I looked up Yuzu on Wikipedia and found this tidbit:
Yuzu is also known for its characteristically strong aroma, and the oil from its skin is marketed as a fragrance. In Japan, bathing with yuzu on Toji (the winter solstice) is a popular custom. The whole fruits are floated in the hot water of the bath (sometimes enclosed in a cloth bag), releasing their aroma.
Kanematsu Bldg 8F 6-9-9 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0061 (map directions are not accurate, they only give you a map of Ginza). Michiba's site has a better map in English: http://www.kaishoku-michiba.jp/info_en
Tel: 813-5537-6300 Fax: 813-5537-6301
Open: 11.30 to 23:00 (22:00 Sundays & National Holidays)
Closed on Mondays and during year-end, New Year's and summer break (open if Monday happens to be a national holiday and closed on the following tuesday)
Lunch: choice of lunch menus from ¥3150
Dinner: Offers Kaiseki course, a selction of prix fixe dinner to satify individual preferences and various a la carte.
*applicable tax, drinks and service charge not included.
- Reservations recommended
- Private dining available for smaller group of 4 to 12 persons
- Can arrange reception and parties including weddings