Chicago Town – 2013 NRA

This Is My Kind Of Town, Chicago Is…follow up

Well, as expected I had a wonderful time in Chicago. The days were full of “work,” and evenings full of fun.

I was very fortunate to have been visited by my good friends from Henkelman, to spend time with all my colleagues from around the Americas, and to do it all in Chicago at the 2013 NRA Show.
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If you read the post prior to my leaving for the show, I was attempting to get reservations at the acclaimed new restaurant by Chef Shin Thompson, Kabocha | Japanese Brasserie. Well, the gods sprinkled their seasoning dust on me, because I was able to squeeze a small group in for dinner on Saturday night.

The restaurant is very pleasing and comfortable. Very sophisticated décor, the wait staff knowledgeable, accommodating and not too hipster. The young lady that helped us explained the menu, which worked out to be just how we wanted to order – start with several items to the center for us all to enjoy, then have our own main plate. It was a kind of pseudo-tapas menus with individual larger entrees.

Any way, however you decide to order, if you ever have the pleasure of dining there, it will work out just fine – the food was fabulous.

We started off with the Scallop and Crab Motoyaki with torched Ponzu Aioli. This was the best item we tried, exceptional. We were so excited we missed taking a good picture of it, which I regret.

This was the picture we decided to take in our state of salivation…

The Scallop Dish Shown Here...

The Scallop Dish Shown Here…

After scarfing the scallops down as quickly as we could without looking too uncouth, we moved to the other items…

Duck Confit Potstickers - Shaved Fennel / Duck Prosciutto / Sour Orange Glaze

Duck Confit Potstickers – Shaved Fennel / Duck Prosciutto / Sour Orange Glaze

The other really interesting dish from the Raw portion was the Tuna & Hamachi Mosaic

Kabocha Mosaic

Next up were the entrees, unfortunately. The menu is full of things we wanted to try, but alas, we only had four mouths to feed.

Kabocha Sous Vide Steak w Death Mustard 1
Meike and I decided on the Japanese BBQ Steak with green garlic, mushrooms, pommes frites and “Death Mustard.” The steak is cooked sous vide, and to perfection. The Japanese BBQ was so good I couldn’t help swiping my finger across the bowl for one last taste at the end of the meal.

My colleague and friend, Luis Fernando, had the Center Cut Pork Chop with spring pea raviolo, shaved asparagus and natural reduction.

Kabocha Pork Chop
Whole fried fish
Finally, Marrit decided to have the Whole Fried Fish with red rice ale tempura and fermented black bean chili sauce. I think her eyes were eyes were bigger than her hunger at that point…she wasn’t able to finish it all.

As you may have guessed, we did not have the endurance to include dessert (my wife, the pastry chef nearly slapped me with her spatula for this), but I would have loved to try the Sweet Soy Truffles or the Frozen Lychee Souffle. There is always a next time…right?

There is not much more to say other than dinner was a lot of fun. We enjoyed the company and the meal more than expected, which is saying a lot.

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Oh yeah, don’t forget to visit us at: www.vacuum-packer.com

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