Saturday, 26 July 2014


Back for The BackBench #4 at Koya.

For those of you who have missed my previous posts, The BackBench is a once a month experience where Chef Junya brings together an exciting tasting menu for diners, experimenting beyond their blackboard and utilizing the freshest ingredients in season.

| Young Aubergine |

My first time eating aubergine that has been skinned, which was served in dashi and topped with some fresh wasabi. Nice texture, and very clean and fresh, and great to enjoy them whilst they are in season.

| Bobby Beans & Egoma, Grilled Cured Sand Eels |

 Lovely green bobby beans served with egoma, otherwise known as wild sesame seeds. And on the other side of the dish, sand eels - not actually related to true eels, but rather a burrowing species of fish predominantly found on the seabed floor. Fried until they were crispy, and fun to nibble on.

| Seatrout Sashimi, Green Shiso Surinagashi, Red Currants, Wild Watercress & Fresh Wasabi |

I love sashimi, so this was no doubt my favourite dish of the evening - the seatrout was seared on the outside and went well with the emerald green shiso surinagashi.
Such vibrant colours, it sure tasted as good as it looked.

| Tomatoes and Kumamoto Oysters Udon |

A cold bowl of udon for a hot summers day. A nice, light tomato-based broth and topped with delicious fresh oysters.

| Kabocha Flower, Peas & Dashi Scrambled Egg Tempura |

It looked liked a courgette flower, but instead it was a kabocha flower - from the plant more commonly known as butternut squash or Japanese pumpkin.
Deep fried in a light and crunchy tempura batter, and stuffed with peas and scrambled eggs.

| Summer Daikon & Scottish Girolles |

This was my dining partner's favourite dish of the evening - soft and easy to cut through daikon, but not over-cooked, and lots of my favourite girolles. Soaked in a light dashi and topped with a slightly spicy shichimi.

 | Unagi Shirayaki, Parsley, Horseradish & Pickled Garkins |

Another one of my favourite dishes that evening - because everyone knows that we are allowed to have more than one favourite. The bone that was served with it was also very crispy and edible.
Just a few days from now will be 'Doyo No Ushi No Hi' on July 29th, which is a day dedicated to eating eel. As Japanese summer is usually hot and humid, it is believed that eating nutritious eels will help to increase stamina and prevent summer fatigue.
You know what to eat on a hot summers day now...

| Berries, Cherries & Red Shiso Jelly |

This time there were two desserts on the menu. Pretty bright colours and a refreshing dessert to match the beautiful summer days that we have been blessed with.

| Sake-Kasu Ice Cream with Wild Fennel Blossoms and Cobnuts |

I've probably said this before, but I just can never get enough of this dessert - third time now and still very much loving it. Made from the lees left over from the sake production, it was also infused with wild fennel blossoms. Smooth, creamy, and a sweet end to our tasting experience.

And the usual green tea to finish off as well...

Despite not having any meat dish this time round, it was overall yet another delicious and satisfying meal from the talented Chef Junya. 
Thank you once again, and I will see you at the next BackBench!

 For my previous BackBench posts, click on the links below:

The Cheekster, signing out x

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