Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ju Ge Mu/Shimbashi - Neutral Bay, Sydney (2)

Once again we have been lured back here by the fresh handmade soba and other traditional Japanese dishes. I am currently reading Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl and there is a passage which has made me appreciate soba even more.

"It takes a magician to make soba," I explained to Claudia, as I showed her how to eat the noodles. "They are made of buckwheat, which has no gluten. That means that getting them to hold together is an act of will. They say it takes a year to learn to mix the dough, another year to learn to roll it, a third to learn the correct cut. In Japan they like soba because they taste good. But they like them even more because they are difficult to make. You have to understand that if you are going to understand anything about Japanese food."

Thank goodness I do not have to go through all that training! So I will just learn to appreciate the hardship of learning how to prepare proper soba by enjoying them as much as possible ^^! This visit to Ju Ge Mu/Shimbashi we got to sit on the Shimbashi side which has the traditional Japanese decor. The atmosphere here is calm and soothing and really makes me want to go back to Japan for more fooding and shopping.

The Japanese seating area which you need to request for when you book or else they are quickly filled up.

Yay for marshmallow plant! I want one of these to grow unlimited marshmallows at home :D

This time we mainly ordered from the Specials Menu as we were eager to try out the more fascinating dishes.

Wagyu Beef Tataki
Beautifully arranged in a flower pattern but I suspect that there may be fewer slices than last time. But the taste still remains melt-in-your-mouth goodness with the citrus ponzu sauce which gives it a slight tang makes it the perfect starter.

Whole Fish (Gurnard) 2 way - Sashimi
The soft white flesh of this half of the fish was refreshing and not too strong in flavour. The presentation is amazing with the different components highly detailed with care.

Whole Fish (Gurnard) 2 way - Tempura
The other half of the fish was fried to a nice crispy outside and tender inside. Again the taste of this fish is not strong so it was nice to add the tempura sauce and daikon.

Gurnard Miso Soup
After the sashimi we requested for the head to be cooked into some miso soup and they kindly agreed.

Braised Whole Fish (Leatherjacket)
The sweet soy sauce permeated the meat of this fish to give it a nice sweet taste and gave the vegetables a nice squirt of sweet juice when you bit into them.

Mixed Aburi Plate
I am a big fan of Aburi as it contains the best of both worlds, cooked and raw. I did not get to try all of these as some disappeared right after the photo was taken but I managed to taste a nice Tuna toro and some salmon. The quality of their fish here is very fresh and I recommend this dish to other Aburi fans out there.

Kurobuta Tonkatsu
Mmmmm the combination of the lean meat and the sliver of melty fat makes each bite a pleasant experience. The crispy skin also makes a delightful crunch with each bite ^^!

Kimuchi Mix Special Okonomiyaki
The kimuchi adds a nice subtle spice to this Japanese 'pancake' but it could be spicier. These are small and a bit expensive but worth trying as the flavours of the ingredients, sauces and bonito flakes all combine to create a specatular dish.

3 Flavoured Tori & Kinoko Seiro Soba (warm Chicken and Mushroom dipping broth)
Hand-made soba left to right: Lemon thyme-giri, orange and original.
You can really tell that the soba is hand-made and fresh from the taste of it and when mixed into the warm broth, the new flavours are formed with fascinating results. The noodles do have a 'pop' to it as you bite them which makes them a delight to eat.

Traditional Sake Masu

Previous Visit:
Ju Ge Mu/Shimbashi

Ju Ge Mu/Shimbashi
246-248 Military Rd, Neutral Bay
Ph: 02 9904 3188



D said...

man A+ for thinking and taking the initiative about using the fish head in your miso soup - how did it turn out in turns of flavour?

Anonymous said...

D - Yeah quite good but I don't usually drink a lot of soup unless it is really cold.