Friday, October 8, 2010

It's alive! A living breathing Japanese feast

Who knew that Spring Hill was the home of awesome Japanese food?  I sure didn't.  Actually I didn't really think Spring Hill was the home of anything much except a few yuppies and a couple of dodgy strip joints.

I've spoken before about my fascination with Japanese food, and my trip to Bishamon has just added fuel to the fire.

We let my friend who had been on exchange to Japan during her university days do the ordering which was definitely the right thing to do.  As was sharing all the meals.

For me it is a rare experience that almost all plates ordered at a restaurant are winners - the only dud was the teriyaki salmon which consisted of sickly sweet deep fried wads of fish with an unappetising sauce.  Avoid this one.

But let's move to the highlights.  Firstly, the gyoza (which are an essential part of any order at a Japanese restaurant) were delicious and came in a little ramekin, arranged in a star shape and baked in the oven.

We also had some sashimi which featured the usual tuna and salmon, but also some raw octopus.
As much as I wanted to like it, I was left a little squeamish after eating the chewy fishy tentacle... I guess I'm not the adventurous foodie I thought I was...

The karaage chicken salad was also a revelation.
My husband has always been a huge fan of karaage chicken - ever since we tried it first many years ago at Garuvas.  To him it was like a high class version of KFC.  Apparently the key to the unique taste is marinating the chicken in soy sauce, garlic and ginger, and then dipping the morsels in seasoned flour and deep frying them in oil.  While I had tried karaage chicken on its own before, I had never seen it in a salad.  This was eally great - I'm not sure what was in the sauce/dressing, but it was a little sweet, a little sour and a bit tangy.  Delicious!

That night I also had the best teppanyaki beef I have ever tasted!

It was so tender and juicy with an amazing charcoal taste that was unlike any I'd ever tasted.  There must have been some sort of extra seasoning on it that gave it some extra zing. Whatever it was, despite the fact that I was full to the brim, I kept shovelling the slices of delicious meat into my mouth with reckless abandon.

And finally, the best thing we had was the yaki udon with fish flakes and nori.
It came out sizzling, steaming and breathing like some sort of strange animal.  This was mainly due to the fish flakes or "hanakatsuo" which are made from katsuobushi, a dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna.  When sprinkled onto a steaming, sizzling griddle of yaki udon, the flakes breath in and out with the steam, making it seem alive!  The taste was sensational.  Bishamon's yaki udon contained chicken and beef mixed up with the udon noodles and had that delectable char grilled taste.

I recommend this place if you're looking for tasty and authentic Japanese food with a pretty low price tag.  My only regret is not trying to tempura ice cream!
Bishamon Japanese on Urbanspoon

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