So it’s been about 1 1/2 years since this exchange and we’ve finally made it to Aburiya Raku - I’ve regretfully neglected my family by not getting here a lot sooner.
The sake menu is over the top. Nihon-shu list is overwhelming. With help from our a waitress, decided on Oka Dewazakura ginjo. Medium dry, lots of fruit and very smooth. I relish shu that throws fruit aromatics at my nose and palate. Went very well with almost all the food.
As for the food, the menu is deceptively long and potentialIy complex, so I was leaning hard toward the omakase. I was voted down 1-4 - oh well. Instead, we ordered:
Aji (Spanish mackeral) two ways - sashimi and grilled. Supremely fresh, prepared simply, nice knife work, visually pleasing presentation and so good.
Sashimi moriawase. Like the aji, just amazing. This and the aji sashimi are the best sashimi I recall having in a long long time.
Shigoku oysters. Aside from one of the oysters having a few chips of shell, these were delicate, sweet with a subtle taste of the sea.
Oyaji tofu. Definitely homey of all the dishes. The delicate subtleness of the housemade tofu was a great foil for the three completely different but complementing condiments.
Popeye salad. Refreshing with a nice balance of umami, subtle sweetness and salt, bitter, and very satisfying. My son asked why “we” can’t make salads this good at home. I responded with, “you” will have to try then.
Here’s the rest of the items we enjoyed.
Kobe fillet stone steak
Steamed foie gras chawanmushi
Buta kakuni (kurobuta pork belly)
Chicken Teba wings
Asajime chicken tsukune
Duck with balsamic reduction
Grilled foie gras
Enoki mushroom with bacon
The use of foie (and cognac?) in the chawammushi was amazing.
Stone steak was perfectly medium rare - eat that ASAP as the stone is very hot and will continue to cook the beef.
The chicken items were supremely juicy and flavorful. Raku knows the bird.
While not common in Japanese cuisine, duck is gradually becoming a menu item. Raku’s duck preparation (and the late great Morinoya’s duck) should convince other Japanese eateries to work with duck more.
The oyako donburi was too good to be remind one of “Mom’s” version. Again, the chicken (and egg) were so good, as was the plump flavorful rice and broth.
Pork intestines were the controversial item, as it was either loved, disliked or passed on. To me, it was exactly as the versions at robota and yaki joints in Japan. Immaculately cleaned, grilled to a slight crisp, chewy and fatty, glazed with tare. Son and girlfriend enjoyed it but son said he picked up on that offal smell. Wife took one bite and didn’t care for it. Daughter totally passed.
The fried shrimp is kind of a sleeper item - these are not only a deal, but deliciously and entirely edible. I left not an eye, antenna or tail left to waste.
Aburiya Raku scores high on my family’s list. We will be back. Thank you for the tons of great info.