Thursday, I met up with my host-mom & my host-brother's wife for lunch at Ashiya Kitajima.
The chef trained under Alain Chapel and after working here and there, opened his own restaurant 3 years ago.
When the restaurant first opened it was authentic French cooking but has slowly evolved to match the Japanese palate.
The chef also buys local food from the Tamba-Sasayama area.
Lunch started off with this hotaru-ika (blue fire-fly squid) tarte. I liked the flakiness of the pastry and the flavor of the squid.
The assorted seafood and vegetable salad was beautiful as well as delicious.
The dip in the center was served hot and was made from crab meat, kani miso (crab innards) and reminded me of a creamy bagna cauda.
This dip was also nice on the baguette that was served.
I appreciated the server leaving the dip for us to finish with more baguette.
Pea soup was creamy but not thick.
The fish dish was a flounder and a deep fried cod roe.
The fish was perfectly cooked, the skin crispy. I don't really care for cod roe, but this was creamy and delicious.
For my meat dish, I chose honey glazed duck.
The duck from Challandais was moist and I liked the sauce that came with it. I think the sauce had some shoyu (soy sauce) in it because it kind of reminded me of Chinese roast duck.
My host-mom and host brother's wife chose the rump steak, which according to Wikipedia, can mean a different cut in a different country.
Their steak had a Madeira sauce. The meat was super tender and the sauce a little sweet (we shared our main dishes).
Part of dessert was this kumquat tarte, fresh from the oven.
The other part of dessert was this yogurt ice cream.
Presentation looked like this, with custard dots on the top and bottom of the plate and a splash of blood orange cream in the center.
To end was their mini white chocolate macaron and coffee or tea.
It was a delicious lunch and I was happy to be able to spend some time with my host-mom and my host-brother's wife. (Thank you!)
2-14 Higashi Ashiya-cho, Excellent Ashiya 1F
Lunch: 12:00-15:00, Dinner 18:00-21:30
Closed Mondays, 3rd Tuesdays : Reservations Recommended