Here’s the big one! The dinner everyone wants to hear about… Outstanding in the Field, a giant warehouse, and a billion (okay, not a BILLION, but a lot) of food bloggers. You’re going to have to ignore my awful photographs and look at someone else who probably has way better pictures, because cold warehouse + poor lighting + jabbering away + wine refills + plus plus plus… let’s just say my photographs leave something to be desired, mm’k? 🙂
I watched them prep these awesome bowls of soup – mushroom dashi, maitake, shimeji and enoki mushrooms. Very sweet and clear and yum. (This pic was taken in the food prep area, so there was a LOT of light.)
Here is my TERRIBLE photograph of my own bowl. Oh – see those chopsticks? Those were the only utensils given to us. I was the only food blogger as far as I could see that requested a fork. I have shamed my family! In fact, when I asked, the server was totally like, “How many?” and I looked back at her, said “One,” and she looked so incredulous. It was horrible (I’m joking; I don’t care! I need to eat and chopsticks are not the fastest way for me to get food into my mouth, they just aren’t!). Whatever! I need to eat 😉
A platter of assorted, pickled vegetables. All totally yummy, but I really wished I had my own entire platter to devour… delicious…
Udon, grilled Monterey calamari in a browned butter ponzu reduction, cucumber, kaiware, frisee and yellow pear tomato with chojang and sesame vinaigrette. This was especially hard to try to eat with chopsticks, and to serve oneself… and while the initial flavor was really good, it got progressively spicier in my mouth and I had to stop eating it, I was very sad.
Horrible picture! Wow, look at that blur. Yes, that’s risotto.
Slightly better photo of my own plate. The menu says it’s sea trout but I think they had to switch to arctic char due to a source issue. [fish] baked with dashikombu, fried garlic and Japanese curry powder; mushroom risotto with koshihikari rice, crispy maitake mushrooms. The fish was succulent, delicious, though hard to scoop (as you can see by the mess I made!) but what brought it to a whole new level was the fried garlic. Garlic chips, essentially, which had this intense garlic flavor (obviously) and acted as a great counterpoint in texture to the soft fish. I’m totally going to try to fry garlic like that (though I know it can be hard to get that split second moment between ‘fine’ and ‘burnt’ for the ‘crisp’ moment…) and start topping everything with it. My goodness. SO amazing.
The risotto was good, too, but stood no chance against the fish in terms of holding a place in my memory.
Roasted brussels sprouts, ponzu fried garlic guanciale, bonito flakes, blurry.
Brussels sprouts, not so blurry. Yes, holy deliciousness. But no surprise to me; I love Brussels sprouts when they’re roasted and caramelized; I love guanciale (essence of pork, I call it); and mmmmmm… let’s just say a couple other food bloggers and I were “fighting” over the leftover bits of guanciale in the serving dish 😉
Soy braised beef cheeks and oxtails, baby carrots and fingerling potato, OB beer and denjang demi. I love beef cheeks, another food I have trouble finding here so I can make it on my own whenever I want. This was no exception; tender, delicious, wonderful, I was one very happy and full chica at this point…
But dessert was still to be had! Koshihikari rice pudding, cookie crumble and warren pear
I don’t like rice pudding and I’m not a fan of pears like so (the firmer kind, and if you heat fruit, I’m always wary)… but the smell was fantastic and plenty of people seemed to really enjoy it – it just isn’t the kind of thing I personally enjoy.
Overall, dinner was fabulous – chatting away with so many people who love food at least as much as I do (and some much, much more than I do), passing plates and breaking bread… awesome. I was thrilled to be a part of this amazing event… thank you, Foodbuzz!!!