〒541-0048 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Kawaramachi, 3 Chome−2−15, 本町河野ビル1F
We arrived in Osaka at 9am after a red eye flight from Singapore. Once we brought our bags to our friend’s place, we had no time to rest and headed straight to La Cime. I usually do a lot of research before choosing where to eat but we had our friend to show us around this time. She grew up in Osaka and owned two yakitori spots (the one in Osaka is now closed but the one in Kyoto is still operating with a different chef). She is an extreme foodie who eats out pretty much every day. So I totally left it up to her to take us on a culinary adventure in Osaka.
Lunch was at La Cime, and we were greeted by Chef Yusuke Takada, a slightly shy but friendly man. The restaurant was occupied with mostly industry people that day (according to my friend). Chef Tateru Yoshino (of a few Michelin-starred restaurants) happened to be eating lunch there that day.
The amuse bouche consisted of five different bites, including stuff like a goya (bitter gourd) macaroon, carrot tuile with carrot puree and… embarrassingly I can’t remember the others! But they were all really good I swear >.< each piece tasted like its main ingredient.
The first course was a smoked unagi (eel from New Zealand) served with a fromage blanc sauce and eggplant confit. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like eggplant loved the eggplant (this happened with all eggplants that we had in Japan though :p). The sauce was served in a shot glass and we poured it over ourselves. Three little bites (eel rillette with lardo on crispy bread) were served with this dish. Apparently New Zealand eel is much bigger and a firmer texture, and it has a stronger flavor so it is better used in French cooking applications rather than in traditional Japanese cooking. He used three different smoking woods (at different times). I thoroughly enjoyed this! The next course was 手長海老(long armed prawn) served with beets cooked in different ways. I’m not a huge fan of beets because during my externship at Del Posto I had to roast and peel baby beets every single day (and I of course had to taste some every day as well). But these beets were not too intense. This may have been my least favorite dish of the course but it was still solid. The following course was the amadai (tilefish), which I guess is in season because we had it at two other places while we were in Osaka and Kyoto. This tilefish was seared and served with its scales, that had been cooked til crispy. The seasonal vegetables were so simple but extremely tasty, and the tapenade was a great complement to the other components. This was the first time I ever ate fish scales, and they are actually amazing! Reminds me of deep fried fish bones. The meat course was possibly my favorite. Rabbit breast stuffed with minced rabbit and foie gras, served with seasonal beans. The texture reminded me of a well made sausage, and the flavors of the slight gameyness of the rabbit and earthiness of the mushrooms married well together. I absolutely loved the presentation as well. Before the main dessert was a blancmange with lemon gelee, honey ice cream and rhubarb. Again, simple, but spot on. The main dessert was mandarin mousse, cheese mousse, rosemary ice cream and cacao nibs. What an awesome dessert. I find that most pastry chefs in New York City try too hard and use too many ingredients even when they don’t necessary go well together. This goes for savory food as well. The chef at La Cime manages to bring out the best in each ingredient while complementing them with compatible flavors. Everything was simply delicious. Last were the petit fours. The chocolate tacos shaped one was my favorite! ごちそうさまでした！