I have been massively distracted lately. My one-track foodie brain has been occupied and while I am still able to ramble endlessly about super awesome delicious cookie dough, I’m not really thinking about food. I’m thinking about one thing and one thing alone.
True Blood. Vampires. Eric goddamn-he’s-so-hot-can-I-bite-him-now Northman. Brooding. Emo. Nordic. Vampire. Need I say more?
This ridiculous pre-pubescent crush thang actually worries me a little, because the last time I was this obsessive about a fictional character, it was Edward Cullen, and he too is a vampire. This trend doesn’t bode well for me as a juicy little human person and while I’d just as easily say “oh Eric bite me now! Make me vampire!” I’m glad my instincts are stronger than my focus and if, if, Eric were to bite me (usually in the throes of passion too, which I’m guessing makes it that much harder to say no… oh my mum reads this blog ~ Hi mum!) I’m sure I would snap right out of under his spell and realise that OMG. Vampires. They don’t eat food. FOOD.
And just like that, my fling with Eric would be totally over. And my laser focus would be back on food, where it rightly resides.
Speaking of which…!
Damn near obsession material is Dinings Restaurant, especially their seared wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa and ponzu jelly. This heavenly little piece of sushi don’t come cheap, but amidst the throes of sushi passion, we ordered it again. And again. And again. Four times, in fact.
And it’s not just the wagyu sushi, dining @ Dinings as a whole is… orgasmic.
Where my last date night with the girls was all kinds of forgettable, Dinings is memorable like a hot brand on the insides of my eyelids. But in the most obscenely pleasurable way.
Even the mixed kelp salad, a most ordinary of Japanese dishes, is infused so deeply with ponzu sauce and exudes a tang so light that the satisfaction hits you, and passes in what seems like too short a time. The pop corn shrimp is battered ever so lightly and dusted with chilli, and while I’m sure it’s great in its own right, this dish paled in comparison to the kelp salad, and especially to what came next.
Wagyu beef tataki. Wowwee, saying that gives me the same shudder as saying Eric Northman, really, I’ve put them up there on the same level, and if that doesn’t show you how much gratification food brings to my little life, I don’t know what will.
We ordered two serves of the wagyu beef tataki, and thank god for that because bitch fighting in a restaurant is like, so 1980. The thinly sliced pieces of beef were surprisingly fatty, but who’s scared of a little fat? Soaking in ponzu sauce and porcini oil, every single slice of beef oozed with tender, juicy scrumptiousness ~ and just for kicks we also tried the duck tataki (a first for me!) which, topped with shiso salsa, almost gave the beef a run for its money. Almost, but not quite.
We were happily waxing lyrical about the exquisiteness of the wagyu beef tataki, but unbeknownst to us, up until this point is time, we hadn’t even lived. Like a welcome breath of immortality (see, I can’t get him out of my head), what came next really truly honestly opened up my palate to a whole new level of taste.
Introducing Dinings’ seared wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa and ponzu jelly. I’m not often humbled… by anything really. I mean, I live in this bubble of my world where everything is explainable, everything happens for a reason and well, there’s no need to be humbled by awesomeness because they happened for a reason. Unless the thing is like, really really awesome. I don’t make sense, I know.
But for this tiny morsel of yum, I am humbled. I am not worthy of even trying to describe what it tastes like, and really, as said best by my friend Linh “it’s like an explosion of flavours”.
I think at this point, I need to own up to my pleb-ness and hand the virtual mic over to Kang from LondonEater.com, who describes the “flavour explosion” as…
|This bite sized dish was phenomenally good. The fragrance of the truffle instantly rushed in and filled my mouth. Acidic bombs were going off with the citrus heavy ponzu jelly, scallions started tickling my tongue and the slightly seared (I am guessing with a small blowtorch) wagyu was like a butter gracefully holding the elements together. There was an interesting aroma-rich flavour with a sort of contrast being created between the muscular truffle against the zesty ponzu jelly. Umami personified.|
… because the only advice I can give you is, eat the whole thing in one go. I don’t really care how small your mouth is, just do it. At £9 per pair of sushi (that’s right, £4.50 for one), this experience don’t come cheap, but it’s worth trading your life for. I think.
We also had a bunch of other mains, which really were tasty, but I can’t find the energy to discuss right now. My brain was almost at full capacity day dreaming about Eric Northman, and now all this blawgging about wagyu beef sushi has pushed it into overload and I. can. no. longer. string. a. sentence. together.
Oh who am I kidding, I can. Though really, there’s not much to say. Chilli garlic black cod, a very nice alternative to the miso black cod that’s served every where these days, and braised pork belly “kakuni” in a sweet soy sauce, which was thick, fatty and I’m pretty sure dissolved on contact.
We also had the nasu miso (aubergine with sweet miso paste), which I thought bordered on too sweet, although I think I was just picking faults because I was in a state of near depression having just consumed nearly £10 worth of only two sushi pieces and wanting… aching… for much much more.
We ended this unforgettable meal with black sesame creme caramel and matcha cream brulee. I think the creme brulee was standard issue, but the black sesame creme caramel dared to push the boundaries. Served up like a frothing cup of coffee (the froth itself is coffee flavoured), the black sesame creme caramel had a texture slightly more dense than what I’d normally classify as creme caramel (and hey, it wasn’t upside down either) but that didn’t matter. It was truly exquisite, flavoursome, but not too sweet.
I don’t really know what it is. Maybe it’s part of this aging process that takes hold when you hit a certain age, but I’ve never quite obsessed about anything (food, human, vampire or otherwise) before. And now, in the matter of months, we have Edward, Eric, wagyu beef sushi and baked eggs too. I’m sure it’ll pass. I mean, there’s only so many youtube videos I can watch, right?
And don’t worry, my “real life” relationship is fine, my man isn’t concerned ~ I’m sure he’d rather me obsess about vampires and food than um, say, babies.
Note: for a more recent (February 2010) visit to Dinings, click here.
22 Harcourt St
London, W1H 4HH
0207 723 0666