Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Sunday was another day of good food and family (G's not mine). It was his brother's birthday and the coconut and mandarin cake was adorned with a pirate's hat, a treasure chest, a skull with an eye-patch, a parrot, a knife and a sailing ship. They were novelty candles as G's brother, X, has a thing for pirates. They were cute but I want the sparkler-candles for my birthday cake when the time comes (relevant readers, please take note).

Dinner was at Mino, where there are 2 offerings of mini-kaiseki of 5 courses each. Although technically 5 courses, the yummy entrees consisted for 4 items, and the dessert consisted of 2 items plus little fruit pieces. So it was quite a spread of little portions, aesthetically presented as expected in a Japanese restaurant on Japanese-style ceramics, I especially like the cups they served the beer in, as they were actually more like tea cups than beer glasses.

My favourite was the entrees, I traded the prawn spring roll (seen on the left, cut in half) for G's duck wrapped in asparagus tempura. I think I got the better end of the deal.

The only disappointment was the main course. Perhaps it was the choice I had made - the Japanese-style beef steak in sesame sauce. The beef had a smell, not unlike the smell I often complain about pork purchased from non-Asian butchers. It is rather inexplicable, but to Asian noses, it's just this SMELL which is rather offensive and mars the entire eating experience. The paranoia of the "smell" is enough to make me very wary about eating pork in Sydney. Strangely enough, at Don Don, the other Japanese restaurant we like to patronise which is chock-a-block with customers, just across the road from my flat, I also had a pork katsu-don some months ago, with the offensive smell. I think I would have definitely fared better at Mino if I had stuck to eel or salmon.

The dessert redeemed the main course for me. It consisted of matcha ice-cream, one of my favourite flavours, except it wasn't quite bitter enough, which would have been perfect, a few small morsels of fruit and 2 little pieces of coffee-flavoured chocolate, coated in a powder, which might have been finely-ground sesame or peanut. It was a good end to a lovely dinner.

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