Sunday, April 20, 2008


In continuing my quest for decent food on a recent visit to Fremont, I decided to try Kaenyama off the Auto Mall Parkway exit, and was pleasantly surprised. First of all, the interior of the restaurant itself was gorgeous. At the entrance, there was an upscale bar / lounge area on the left and teppanyaki tables on the right. A row of well-lit booths dominated the center of the restaurant. An L-shaped sushi bar area occupied one of the back corners, aptly decorated with sake bottles and vases of white lilies. I could tell that a lot of thought and effort had gone into the decor.

Kaenyama's menu features plenty of traditional Japanese fare, including sashimi, teriyaki, udon, and tempura. Yet there's also a variety of creative sushi rolls and several interesting fusion attempts, such as foie gras miso, hamachi carpaccio, and grilled lamb chops with hon-shimeji mushrooms and a sweet nashi pear soy glaze (the thought of which is making my stomach growl at this late hour).

Since I was with my mother, we stuck to the more "typical" items. The broth for the chicken udon was flavorful but not too salty (gaining points in my mother's book), and the noodles retained a nice texture and consistency. My chicken yakisoba was also quite good.

Chicken udon ($13)

Chicken yakisoba ($13)

I was most impressed, however, with their version of the hamachi kama (yellowtail collar). This is one of my favorite Japanese appetizers of all time. If prepared well, the high fish oil and fat content of the collar will come through to give the meat a rich, juicy flavor. Eating hamachi kama is also a fun play on textures, since some parts of the meat will be firm and others will melt in your mouth like butter.

Hamachi kama ($10)

The most common way to ruin this dish is to overcook, leaving the meat too dry. But Kaenyama's hamachi kama was flavorful and moist, and brushed with a slightly sweet teriyaki glaze. Good to the last bite, and wonderful presentation.

Fishing around for the meat...

I will definitely be back to Kaenyama to try some of their rolls and sashimi (some of the fish looked fantastic), as well as that sauteed foie gras miso. Yes, I will pretty much try anything with duck liver.

43785 Boscell Road
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 683-8800

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true about the Hamachi Kama! Its so rare to find a place that serves a good version. Usually, way over cooked and dry.

Next time I'm in fremont, I will definitely make it a point to swing by Kaenyama! Thanks!