Friday, October 21, 2011

生日燒肉伊呂波 - 伊呂波

My mum and i always reserve a meal's quota for BBQ whenever we were in Tokyo - the beef there are always more sweet and more tender than those offered in Hong Kong. My mum always recalls how lovely the beef rib were in the restaurant in Shinjuku, as it is a taste not to be found in Hong Kong.

Since my mum's birthday is in early February, clashing directly with the chinese new year, it is impossible to hold a table at any restaurant on the date of her birthday. Therefore, we opted for an early celebration - and after 'consulting' her opinion, I secretly booked a table at Iroha in Causeway, and led her to the surprising dining place in the evening.

I did not specially requested for a room when i made the reservation - therefore i was equally surprised when the waitress led us to a private, separated room.

We spent quite a long time digesting the menu - and finally we decided to order in two rounds:

Tomato salad: freshly cut wedges of tomatoes were mixed with an oriental sour salad dressing. Very fleshy and refreshing.

Sashimi combo (5 variations) - with Tuna, Salmon, Squid, Kampachi and medium Toro, the sashimi slices were thickly cut and very sweet and fresh. The tuna and toro were surprises - they were much better than what's offered in other sushi bars!

Premium assorted meat ($450) - with salted wagyu tongue, outside skirt, diced sirloin, rib eye in a roast sauce, we all agreed that the diced sirloin steak tasted the best as it carried the most taste of the 'beef'. Thickly cut and lightly grilled, the beef were juicy and very tender - a taste i have long missed but failed to find in Hong Kong!

Karubi in Jar - a must-order in Iroha, i suppose. The rib eye stripe came in a lovely japanese jar and was soaked in a sauce with onion, garlic and misc. We cut the rib eye into dices with the scissors and grilled until just medium rare-and it was heavenly.

The beef was not too dry because of the appropriate amount of fat it carried; the sauce gave it a little tint of sweetness to the beef, enhancing the sweetness of the beef; and it was tender. It was oh-so-good.

Kimchi and tofu soup - more sour than the authentic Korean version, it was however great to have when grilling beef by its side!

Selected thick sliced wagyu tongue - heavenly. I should call them 'steaks' cus they were just so thick! We grilled them until they became pinkish on the surface. The juice exploded as we bit into each of them. Expensive, yes, but the experience of eating them was marvellous! They reminded us of the tongue we ate in Sendai - the home of grilled Ox Tongue, but this one is even more sweet and tender and tasty!

Mushroom platter - Literally a big plate of assorted mushroom with some soysauce graced on them. Equally lovely as they were juicy.

Stir-fried vegetables - Tasted very Chinese i'd say.

Karubi thick slices (Salt) - surprised by the loveliness of the Karubi-in-jar, we ordered another plate of Karubi. We asked whether it'd taste better in salt or in soysauce and we got the response that the salt variety is better. However, what we got was quite tough in texture.....what a pity. We should have sticked to the Karubi-in-jar, albeit being slightly more expensive.

Grilled onigiri-we ordered one salmon onigiri and one with dried bonito. They came raw and we had to DIY - first, grab and turn the onigiris with a special clip-we had to turn slowly and gently as the onigiri may break. Then, we grazed them with the sauce which came on the side with a special silicon brush - turning the onigiris into a lovely, brownish magical food.

They were excellent. Crunchy on the surface and tender in the inside, they rounded off the birthday meal nicely.

The meal was certainly an expensive one - but given the privacy we enjoyed, and the quick and efficient ventilation, and of course the high quality of the grilled meat, it was a lovely meal afterall.

伊呂波燒肉 Iroha

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