Friday, December 4, 2015

Ginsai 吟彩 ( IV ) - Rare Seasonal Japanese Crabs for Tasting Menu

 As mentioned before,  Ginsai 吟彩 is the sister restaurant to Michelin 2* Wagyu Takumi next door and also Rozan Sushi.   It is also related to 1* Wagyu Takumi and also the likes of Island Tang,  Kowloon Tang and 3* 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo.   As always,  I think Ginsai is the more under-rated restaurant within the Restaurant Group.   Chef Ogawa 小川賢 is clearly very capable with his food and seasonality sense,  and hence why Ginsai is one of my favourite Japanese Restaurants in town deserving much more accolades and recognition.   At the below,  we had the $1880 Crab Course for 2 persons,  a bargain for the rarity of Crab offerings and execution.


香箱蟹 Koubako Seiko Crab with 土佐酢 Tosazu Jelly - 
Such a rare item per year, this is the much smaller sized female ズワイガニ Zuwai Crab which can only be caught during November of the year.  It came with roes,  tomalley, and crab meat.  So lovely and with a vinegary jelly.  ~ 9/10




銀杏蟹 イチョウガニ - Cancer Japonicus.  Similar to a Bread Crab in France or Scotland
Served with Seasonal Japanese Persimmon fruit.  I liked the fruit but prefer more Crab Meat and the Caviar as proportion.  The base Tofu Sesame Dressing was a nice touch..   ~ 7/10



Abura Gani 油蟹酒蒸焼き 稲穂 -
Abura King Crab with a blue tinge and is a distant relative of Taraba Red King Crab is rare to source.  Here it is steamed with Sake then Grilled afterwards,  served with Fried Rice Puffs.  Very rare to find not only in Hong Kong,  but even in Japan itself.  Although taste very similar to the normal Taraba King Crab despite a different physical look.  ~ 8/10


Tempura Dip with Oroshi,  Lime,  Curry Salt and Sea Salt -
Tempura is coming next..

The 4 Items -
Part of the Overall Crab Course.  Minced Prawns in Shiitake Mushroom,  Grilled Baby Corn,  Crab Claw with Kani Miso,  also Crab Meat with Sea Urchin.  ~ 9/10




Baby Corn Tempura -
You least expect it when it does appear,  but this was fried well..



Fried Crab Meat with Sea Urchin -
Lovely as expected,  almost cliched but excellently executed…  ~ 9/10



Fried Sweet Potato with Brandy and Sugar Dip -
Had this before and it takes 40 minutes to make.  Encapsulating as always with the sweetness and sugary crunch,  balanced by the brandy alcoholic input.  A must order here.  ~ 9/10

蒸し毛蟹 Steamed Kegani Hairy Crab with Kani Miso Tomalley on the Side -
Even as a foodie I was not used to having so many different Crab types per night - but you can see how serious the restaurant is with regards to Crab varieties,  even if they are very rare to source.   ~ 8/10



Gyu Tan 牛たん Beef Tongues -
Just to deviate from the pure Crabs course a little bit,  we decided to order some grilled items.  To me, it was always either about Kaiseki,  Oden,  Seiro Ryori or Tempura.  But this time around we are not missing out on the Grilled items as a Litmus Test.  Quite decent but could be cut thicker or else grilled more,  1 way or the other for me.  ~ 7/10
Bit Salty



Sunagimo Chicken Gizzard -
This is crunchy.  I expected more burnt edges but perhaps this is the healthier way to go.   ~ 7/10



The Minced Chicken Meatball Tsukune 月見 つくね with Chicken Cartilage was grilled well here -
The surface char looked accurate and the cartilage and meat crunch inside was as good as it could get.  The Sauce was also spot-on in taste and viscous but not too salty.  Will give Keyaki/Shiba or Torimen a run for its money ~ 8.5/10


Crab Shabu-Shabu Nabe being Readied  -
Truth be told,  looking at how this was prepared I already knew this wouldn’t be Crustacean in flavor enough.   You really have to boil down the Crustacean shells and claws for 1-2 hours minimum.  Here it looked a little too clean in execution…


A pile of Zuwai ズワイガニ or 津和井 Crab ready to be cooked into a Hotpot -
The rarer female version 香箱蟹 Koubako Gani we already ate above with the Tozasu Jelly cold, served with Roes and Tomalley.  Here it was more about the Male Crab legs instead.  ~ 7/10



Finished Zuwai Crab legs -
Sweet.  Neatly trimmed.  Just wished the soup had more Crab flavor.


Vegetables and Udon,  with a Ponzu sauce -
Quite healthy but accurate in Japanese spirit. 


Baked Cheese Cake -
Soft and Moist.  Made by their young talented Japanese pastry chef.



Price:  $940 + 10% Per Person
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 灣仔交加里32-38號
32-38 Cross Lane, Wan Chai, HK
Ph:  2574 1118

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