Masa Miyake, whose local empire includes Miyake, Pai Men Miyake, Miyake Farm and the upcoming Miyake Diner, has found time to also become a blogger. His blog, Dine Miyake ("Miyake like you've never seen it: daring, unapologetic & intrinsic") began earlier this month to recap his two and a half week trip to his native Japan, a place he hadn't visited in 17 years. The trip brought him new ideas and inspiration, showcased Sunday at a special omakase (chef's tasting) dinner at his Fore Street flagship. He writes about it in his latest entry:
When I brought traditional Japanese cuisine to Portland six years ago, I set out to create a menu that was both exciting and comfortable. I wanted my customers to try new things, but I also wanted them to keep coming back for comfort food, like a bowl of ramen, or an expertly made sushi roll. I was able to integrate my training as a French chef with my knowledge and love for Japanese cuisine.
But much of the food I grew up with in the Japanese countryside, and along the coast of Aomori Bay, isn't necessarily the food I've been cooking for my customers these last several years. My return trip reminded me of dishes long forgotten and fueled me with inspiration. I knew I wanted to excite my customers, but this time it'd be with ingredients and flavors I haven't had the chance to cook with lately – or ever before. I wanted Sunday's menu to be as exciting for them to eat, as it would be for me to cook. And knowing my customers, I knew they'd be willing to try pretty much anything.
The first course was "sea snail with anchovy butter, seared pike, and monkfish liver pate." The fifth course debuted the Guinea hogs (a rare breed that is smaller and fattier than more common commercial pigs) from Miyake Farm, with a braised pork belly and oyster dish.
Here's the full menu from the dinner:
Amuse Bouche: Dobin Mushi (dashi with sake, matsutake and mitsuba)
1st Course: Akino Kaisen Mori (sautéed sazae and seared sanma with ankimo)
2nd Course: Kaga Jibuni (duck tsukune, agedashi tofu, and seared duck breast with bok choy and harukei turnips)
3rd Course: Uni Two Ways (chawan mushi and pasta with oba)
4th Course: Lobster Ankake (steamed lobster and yakinasu in dashi with edamame, matsutake mushrooms and asparagus)
5th Course: Miyake Farm Butabara and Winter Point Oyster (braised Miyake Farm pork belly and oyster with celery root and apple puree)
· Feed Me Masa: October's Omakase Menu [Dine Miyake blog]
· Miyake Restaurants [Official Site]
[Photo: Dine Miyake blog]