Thursday, 12 January 2012

Izakaya ,, when delicious meets creative

I admire the work of Chef Ahmad Al-Bader, starting from The Burger Hub (love the patty! Best fulfilling burger ever) to Prime & Toast with a killer breakfast menu, love their poached eggs (on multi-grain bagel & the NY bagel with Zereshk), Pizzetta and now!!!! Izakaya.

The place is cozy, contemporary, with grey brown'ish look, small but elegant. The food? Is amazing, it blew us away and when they saw us taking pictures and admiring the food complimentary dishes were served from the Chef! I was up for tasting this new restaurant's food, I ended up having a FEAST

For the salad we took Rasberry and baby spinach

Green crisp salad

Both were amazing, right balance of greens/ dressing and.. FRUIT! You see the rasbery gave a bit of a tangy taste while the pears in the 2nd one gave this rich crusty flavor.

Shrimp popcorn ,, lovely,  the taste was not too surprising but also good, however the 3 sauces on the side made all the difference.

Then the chef decided to give us two complimentary dishes :}

Cucumber strips with sesame dressing


Asparagus with miso hollandaise

Both were light and tasty, the veggies were not veggies anymore! A lot of taste and infusion made them delicious, eating asparagus was a task in my diet, with Izakaya it became a pleasure :> 

The rest of our appetizers arrived....

Honey soy mushroom

Nut crusted shrimp

The infusion of honey and soy, in the oven baked mushrooms was to die for! Sweet, tangy sauce with smooth mushroom texture and flavor, you can't go wrong with it. As for the nut crusted shrimp, its another story.....

The nuts with their crusty texture and smooth rich flavor were exceptional with the taste of shrimp, I would have NEVER pictured the two together, I think Chef Ahmad Al-Bader created this piece of art just to take your sense of taste off track and try something out of this world.

Now for the main courses...

We took 3 maki'es from right to left : Izakaya roll "removed salmon, not a fan!" - Dynamite spider - Poached butter ebi & avocado. 

I can't really do them good with saying YUMMY, I recommend all three if you are a maki fan, I do like Japanese food but not into Sashimi nor Sushi thats why we skipped them in the menu.

The highlight in the Izakaya roll is the smooth flavors mixture, the poached butter ebi maki the zesty ginger flavor and oddly!! Dynamite was very safe :p

Continuing with the mains...

Grilled local shrimp

Grilled local Crab

I'm not a dill fan, BUT the amount used in the shrimp was PERFECT, the infusion of flavors was well balanced. The crab as per my friend who had a fight with it was delicious too.

Although we were FULL but with all the good food we tasted, we could not stop the "dessert" temptation....

Nutmeg and hazelnut icecream

Pain perdue with raspberry shisho jam 

The icecream was yummy as expected, but the Pain perdue, was a taste test. Just as we though that the food can't get any better, the Pain perdue flipped the coin! Izakaya won. The infusion of the crusty bread, raspberry jam and ice cream was thrilling, you can imagine each alone but the combination was a surprise, rich bread taste with the strong a bit zesty/ berry raspberry flavor topped with vanilla ice cream, made all the sense in this world :}

Another complimentary dish from the chef, 6 home made ice cream flavors: dark chocolate - banana chocolate chip - cranberry - butterscotch .. All were nice the cranberry was the most exceptional one, it did taste like fresh cranberry!!

Now the last 2, the cherry on top, the surprise (can you count how many surprises we got? :p),,,,

Basil and bird-eye chilly and the Balsamic vinegar  ICE CREAM!!

YES Balsamic vinegar and CHILLY!! Green one is the chilly

To taste iced chilly was not on my list :} Again, he broke the senses rule, the regularity of taste, but since I'm not a chilly fan I didn't like it much, but was really surprised with it, it blew me away. Now the Balsamic one on the other hand, tasted really delicious, I didn't expect it to taste this good

We had a great time in Izakaya, from food, to atmosphere to service, a place I would defiantly go back to and try to finish the menu :) I thank everyone there for preparing such a lovely meal.

And yes, I will have to work hard in gym to burn off this meal, I broke every diet rule Wednesday night, and it was defiantly WORTH IT, and yes I will still blame Iakaya for the extra kg or two gained.

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