Restaurant and Bar Ko - Nabemono

Review: Restaurant and Bar KO in Kaimuki Honolulu

Located in the neighborhood of Kaimuki and from the outside, looking like any other residential building or church on the block, Restaurant and Bar Ko is a local Japanese restaurant that I find highly under-rated. Among the Japanese restaurants I’ve visited in Oahu, this place definitely offer the best value for the quality of food you get.

Restaurant and Bar Ko is best at preparing their Kaiseki meals – a style of Japanese set menu featuring several small portioned courses. While I’ve never had their Early Bird Kaiseki meal, it amazes me that you can get a pretty good quality Japanese Kaiseki meal for as low as $20!

Restaurant and Bar K change their menus regularly. Below is one of the Kaiseki meals that I was able to try out.

Kaiseki Menu KO Course ($40):

Restaurant and Bar Ko - Kaiseki Appetzer

Kaiseki Appetizer – Chilled Shooter with Uni, Salmon Roe, and Steamed Egg. A wonderful mix of flavor and texture. 

Kaiseki Lotus Root Manju

Kaiseki Lotus Root Manju – Fried Lotus Root Doused in a Rich Crab and Dashi Soup Sauce

Restaurant and Bar Ko - Kaiseki Sashimi

Kaiseki Sashimi –  Tuna, Salmon, Snapper, Hamachi

Kaiseki Grilled Abolone

Kaiseki Grilled Abalone. Incredibly tender and flavorful with the best part being the liver hidden underneath.

Continue reading

20130413_125801

Review: Fish Tag Brunch

fishtag
Arriving at a humble-looking restaurant front in the Upper West End in New York City, we entered Fish Tag from the bar reception, through a corridor, and into a ceiling-lit dinning space. The dining area felt like a hide-away from the rest of the city. With only 4 other tables and 2 waiters on the floor, the clean, cozy atmosphere accompanied by soft jazzy background music promised a wonderful brunch experience in good company.

fishtag2

Fish Tag is a restaurant by Chef Michael Psilakis offering a Mediterranean-inspired seafood twist to common brunch menu items. The deal of the day seemed to be the $18 brunch prix fix that included fresh coffee or tea, a brunch drink (mimosa, bloody mary, bitter sweet, hair of the dogfish), and any brunch entre. Fresh hot coffee in the morning is always a welcomed pleasure. In addition, I chose to have glass of fresh mimosa and the Smoked Trout Hash, which included a fried egg and mustard seed hollandaise sauce.

The Smoked Trout Hash was a well-crafted dish composed of soft, savory, melt-in-your-mouth smoked trout; firm, snappy sautéed mince of peppers, carrots, and onions; and crispy, deep-fried cuts of potato hashes. Finally two lightly fried eggs were layered on top garnished with spring onions and dripped with delicious mustard seed hollandaise sauce.

20130413_125359           20130413_125801

The Smoked Trout Hash offered a good mixture of textures in each bite. The minced vegetables provided hearty, soft flavors to support the more salty flavors of the smoked trout and fried potato hashes. The fried eggs with a runny yolk and the hollandaise sauce further enhanced the flavors of the dish all together.

The beautifully presented brunch was delicious. Although the service quality had some weaknesses, I would definitely come to Fish Tag again.