Monday, May 3, 2010

Mino - Mosman


As a little surprise, my partner booked Mino for dinner - a Japanese restaurant in Mosman which offers kaiseki (jap degustation ish) for $59 (or $43 on non-Saturdays). There were two kaiseki options available - the "mino" and the "goshu". The difference between the two lies in the choice of appetiser and entree variety. Both kaiseki offers the same range of main options. In order to sample more, we ordered a "mino" and a "goshu". Hot green tea was ordered. The tea was pretty average. The aroma was not as strong as other green teas, but it wasn't bad either.

green tea

So first up was the aperitif and amuse. This was a seasonal cocktail shot and a small croquet. This came on specially made 'mino' plates which were kinda impressive. The cocktail shot tasted like lemonade with the slightest ever hint of alcohol. It was more sweet than anything. The croquet was a mushy potatoey peay concoction - pretty average.

mino plates

aperitif and amuse - seasonal cocktail shot and small croquet

The appetiser of the goshu kaiseki was wagyu beef slice rolls. Rolled inside the beef was root veges. This was accompanied by shiitake mushroom and a miso fig sauce. This was pretty yummy. The sauce was complementary and sweet. The wagyu beef was tender and tasted quite beefy. Not bad, not bad.

mino kaiseki appetiser - wagyu beef roll

The appetiser offered with the goshu kaiseki was prawns with plum dressing topped with seaweed and dried shallot steaks. The prawns were sweet and drenched with super tasty sauce. The shallot and seaweed bought a good crunch and texture to the whole dish. This was pretty awesomeness!

Goshu kaiseki appetiser - prawns

The sashimi and sushi dish came with 3 sorts of sashimi (salmon, kingfish and tuna), 2 aburai sushi and an oyster. There was a salmon and kingfish sushi, each lightly seared and sprinkled with just the right amount of salt. This sushi was very melt-in-your mouth goodness with just the right taste. It was fresh with the slight charcoaly taste. The oyster was also deliciousness. Shallots, flying fish roe and vinaigrette. The oyster was slimy smooth and the sauce was super goodness! Sooooo nicely complementary :)

sashimi and sushi plate

seared sushi



The assorted entree for the goshu kaiseki set came with 5 small eats. I believe that the best out of this plate is probably the seared scallop with onion vinaigrette. The scallops were lightly grilled and with the onion vinaigrette giving off a fresh, healthy vibe. There was also the asparagus and duck tempura drenched with miso and blue cheese sauce. This was umm... interesting? I couldn't tell that there was duck. I could taste the asparagus cubes but on the whole, it was a mushy cheesy glob. My partner liked the wagyu beef tataki salad but I thought it was so so. The ginger flavour was a little over-powering but the beef was nicely smooth and chewy. Then there was the grilled kingfish. My first bite of this was ever so slightly overcooked. But the rest of the fish was silky smooth and cooked pretty much perfectly. Further, the sauce was AMAZING! White ginger soy mayo ish sauce - soooo good. Even after I finished the fish, I was scooping up and drinking the sauce LOL. Last but not least, there was the slow cooked waygu beef and mashed potato pot pie. The puff pastry top was crisp and cruncy and golden brown. The beef inside stringy and soft and tender. Mixed with stringy veges and mashed potato it was pretty good. This pie was the only one of five which was in both entree plates.

goshu kaiseki assorted entree

seared scallop salad

asparagus and duck tempura with miso and blue cheese sauce

wagyu beef tataki salad with ginger sauce

grilled kingfish

slow cooked wagyu beef strip and mashed potato pie

The mino kaiseki entree variety incorporated a soft shell crab tempura with green tea salt. I stole a piece from my partner. It was OK. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. It didn't have the regular soft-shell crab feel to it but. Maybe its coz there wasn't any legs sticking out everywhere. There was also the scallop and persimmon goat cheese miso gratin. The scallop was pretty perfection. Rare - not raw or overcooked. Tasty and smooth and silky and deliciousness. I didn't try the ocean perch but my partner said that this was average. The fish was topped with a teriyaki miso sauce. Another bit to this was the prawns tossed in japanese sweet chili sauce with a tiny grilled tomato sitting next to it. Last but not least, there was the humble wagyu mash pie again.

mino kaiseki assorted entree

deep fried soft-shell crab with green tea salt

scallop and persimmon goat cheese miso gratin

ocean perch

prawns with japanese style chili sauce grilled tomato

For the main, my partner picked the sukiyaki - wagyu beef hot pot. Mains come with miso soup and rice. The sukiyaki was deliciousness!!! The broth was rich and sweet. The beef was thinly sliced and tender. All this, with egg and veges. YUM.

sukiyaki hotpot (wagyu beef)

To be honest, I was pretty full after the entree. Lucky I picked the assorted sushi as a main! There was eel, prawn, salmon, tuna, squid and lightly grilled scallop. My favourite was the scallop. It was sooo sweet - and bought with it a subtle slight hint of chargrillness. Mmmm...

assorted sushi

miso soup

So by now, I'm full. My partner's full. But... there's still dessert! One look and one taste of the dessert - my stomach was empty enough to gobble it all up! Accompanying the dessert, we each got a small cup of roasted green tea. This tea was much richer and tastier than the green tea we got for the table. On our dessert plate, we got 2 fruit pieces, chocolate with soy bean powder, green tea pannacota and our choice of icecream or sorbet. I chose the black sesame, my partner chose the pistacio and fig. The black sesame icecream was soooooooo rich and sooooo black. Black sesame flavour was just bursting out and fulfilling the black sesame craving of all my tastebuds. It was soooo soooo soooo good! I could eat it all night. The green tea pannacotta was silky smooth. Topped with a thin layer of caramel, it was light yet tasty, sweet yet not overly so and simply just YUM. The last thing I attacked on my plate was the chocolate. By the time I got to the chocolate, I was already very satisfied. But the chocolate took it to the next level. It was very dark, rich, cocoa-y, smooth, silky, and slightly coffee-tasting ish. It was like a Royce truffle but better~ WOW.

roasted green tea

dessert plate - fruit, chocolate, green tea pannacota and choice of icecream or sorbet

pistacio and fig icecream

black sesame icecream

green tea pannacotta

powder dusted chocolate

By the end of the meal, I'm smiling, my partner is smiling. I'm happy once again after eating yummy food. But, happiness only lingers thus long.

Food - 9/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Value for money - 8.5/10
Overall - 34/40

521 Military Road
NSW 2088
tel: (02) 9960 3351


SK said...

Mino is one of my fav places.
A little pricy but so worth it.

bbsnoopy said...

i thought the price was pretty good for the quality of food which was served! :)
very yummy indeed!