Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day at Koi Garden

Koi Garden is one of my favorite spots to go for dim sum, but last night I tried their dinner menu for the first time to celebrate Mother's Day. The food was a bit on the pricey side, but really delicious and mom-approved!

Poached shrimps in broth ($16/lb)
Can't really go wrong with fresh-caught shrimp!

Mandolin Hand-Roasted Squab ($15)
Super succulent and not too fatty.

Stir-fried beef and onions ($16)
Tons of meat...

Prime mushroom with egg tofu ($14)
Loved the circular tofu and hearty mushrooms!

Koi Garden
4288 Dublin Boulevard, Suite 213
Dublin, CA 94568

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bushi-Tei Bistro

I've never been to the original Bushi-Tei restaurant in Japantown, but I was still happy to come across Bushi-Tei Bistro, a more casual, affordable offshoot of the main restaurant that opened this year. The style of cuisine is still the same -- French California Japanese fusion -- but from a quick menu comparison, the food is less dramatic and considerably cheaper. Which is fine with me, especially since everything tasted so great!

Asparagus, prosciutto, and smoked mozzarella ($6.80)

A delicious appetizer to start off our meal. Tender-but-still-crisp spears of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto slices and topped off with smoked mozzarella cheese and almonds. Just a mouth-watering blend of nutty, salty, and creamy flavors in each bite.

Scottish salmon ($12.80)

The miso-marinated salmon was grilled for just the right amount of time, with a light peachy color on the inside. The bed of ratatouille underneath consisted of sauteed eggplants, zucchini, and bell peppers, all tasting wonderfully fresh. And the arugula and cucumbers perched atop the fish were a cool, refreshing contrast.

My friend ordered the squid ink spaghetti, which is basically just spaghetti enhanced with squid ink so that the pasta becomes a coal-black color. The pasta was tossed with shrimp, scallops, squid, roasted paprika, and enoki mushrooms in a yuzu dashi broth (yuzu is a citrus fruit, and dashi is a Japanese soup stock).

Squid ink spaghetti ($14.80)

What I loved most about the food was the complementary blend of Western and Asian ingredients and flavors. Considering how over-the-top some fusion restaurants can be, Bushi-Tei Bistro keeps its cuisine relatively simple. Some other things on the menu that caught my eye:
  • Yatko - chilled tofu with marinated spanish sardine, dried bonito flakes, and tapenade
  • Shrimp cake - chopped shrimps and crispy vegetables, citrus beurre blanc sauce
  • Kurobuta pork - thinly-sliced sauteed pork with parsley and caper sauce
  • Hotate scallop - sauteed hotate scallop with kiwi fruit vinaigrette
Guess I'll have to come back here! And I'm looking to give the original Bushi-Tei a try as well.

Bushi-Tei Bistro
1581 Webster Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

1638 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115