Japanese Fusion Dining at HakubaTuesday, August 16, 2011
The last two weeks seem have to just disappeared. We still have boxes around the house, I have a pile of un-filed paperwork that seems to accompany starting up a small business, and I've discovered that my oven is extremely fond of burning cakey-items when I least expect it.
But we persevere.
Finally, last night, we took two hours out of our silly schedules and met up for dinner at Hakuba, a Japanese Fusion restaurant in Tottenham Court Road.
It's a really charming restaurant with private dining rooms (booth-style dining separated with sashes of organza fabric that curtain around on rails!) and dark wood finishes. I like it.
Now, it should be noted that I carry my camera everywhere. I mean everywhere: to work, to dinner, to friends'. But on this occasion, I accidentally left it at home which means that the pictures you see here are a little blurry as they've been taken using my HTC camera. Bless.
Above: my spring rolls, served with sweet chilli sauce. In the distance, G's 'zinger' sushi served with number four spicy sauce and yellowtail. Don't you love the serving plate?
All main courses at Hakuba are served with rice and miso soup. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about miso soup: it's a kind of fermented barley served as a broth, where the fermented bits do a bit of a dance in the broth as the heat infuses them with energy. It smells and tastes malty (a bit like Horlicks).
I don't know if I've mentioned it before on this blog but I'll say it here: I'm rather partial to a Thai Green Curry. A restaurant is made (or broken) by the quality of their Thai Green Curry. Often, I'm reluctant to order it for fear it might cause me to detest said restaurant - it's a risky business. But, given that it was featured on their 'special' menu, I thought I'd take a chance.
On the whole the curry was creamy, the vegetables were delicious and it was well-spiced using proper ingredients that you could taste individually: something quite rare for a Thai Green Curry often based solely on a paste. The quality of the curry was very good, but unfortunately the beef was chewy (ew) so I'd order it again with chicken or perhaps just plain.
Note to self: you see those red thingies there in the bowl? No, they're not red peppers. Remember, white wine is an excellent cure for insane-burning-sensation-in-mouth-due-to-consumption-of-tiny-red-chillies.
To finish it off, I ordered Sabayon which is not a traditional French dessert nor a traditional Italian dessert, thank you very much Wikipedia. Instead it is a sort of chocolate mousse terrine made up of compressed chocolate, littered with nut fragments and raisins (I think I tasted raisins) and topped with a scoop of vanilla sorbet and berry coulis. G had a delightful Molten Chocolate Cake which was a rich chocolate pudding served hot with a melt-in-the-middle chunk of chocolate. Served with one scoop of vanilla sorbet and three slices of mango. For real.
I really enjoyed the restaurant and they're very reasonably-priced, especially for that part of town. Hakuba seems to be connected to a YMCA which means you have interesting people coming in for dinner, but it's also right next to the theatre (We Will Rock You!) so they do pre-theatre deals as well and some people pop in wearing their Sunday finest. All in all, the service was excellent, the food was good and the prices were very pocket-pleasing. I'd love to go back there, and I'd definitely give their Green Tea Creme Brulee a go, as well as their wasabi-infused mashed potato and their Belgian chocolate chopsticks.