Kaze, surely one of the city’s top sushi restaurants (we were going to say joints, but that would really bely the gravitas of this establishment), is introducing its fall tastings menu tonight for the eating pleasure of Roscoe Villagers and Chicagoland’s raw fish community at large. This evening, and then following a bizarre schedule (until Thursday of this week, then Sunday through Thursday of next week, and subsequent Tuesdays through the end of the season. What, they’re too chicken to offer it on the weekends?), Kaze will be offering a four course meal for $45, not inclusive of tax or tip.
By the way, that is annoying. If it’s going to cost 25% more, every time, why not just include it in the price? Why implicitly deceive your customers? Nobody likes to be tricked so transparently - it’s belittling (opposite of embiggening). It’s akin to prices that end in $.99.
But anyway, the tasting menu. As we hinted in the title, the first course of crab bisque in white miso and tomato broth is garnished with mozzy cheese, truffle oil, and a crab and potato croquette. Now, truffle oil is all the vogue and whatnot, but the mozzarella cheese makes something of a surprise appearance in a cuisine that’s otherwise almost entirely devoid of dairy. Maybe it’s mozsoyrella? OMG we’re copyrighting that immediately.
The nigiri course that follows is somewhat more traditional, but not by much: anango is dabbed with honey mustard, sanma (pike, i.e. what crappy gefilte fish is made of) is served with yuzu and ohba (ungooglable!), and white tuna comes with a banana-wasabi puree. The gentle blandness of banana would pair well with the nose-y sharpness of the wasabi - maybe also as an ice cream?
The third course is salmon with shiitake tempura (eh) and is followed by an entrée of grilled lamb chop, marinated in horseradish and served with “fired bananas” and an apple salad. Who knew bananas were so hot right now?
Oh! We didn’t even tell you the reason why this is a good deal: each of the courses (well, the final three) have a wine or sake pairing! Yes, we may have been annoyed that tax and tip weren’t inclusive, but the accompanying alcohol sort of makes up for it. Ever had a lamb chop with organic sake? Welcome to the new season.
[Photo: the organic sake we were talking about, Select Wines]