Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tim and Karen's report Dokan Kagari -steak@Numazu-

I am an Australian who has been lucky enough to live in Mishima and Numazu for nearly 4 years.
I was given the chance to sample some of the areas first restaurants and would like to share my experiences with you. I went to only Japanese style restaurants in the hope to introduce this unique, traditional and delicious style of restaurant to people from all over the world.
Dokan Kagari is situated down a dark side street running between Senbon Beach and Numazu Port. It is on the ground floor of a quite imposing-looking new building and has a nice traditional Japanese water feature by the entrance. We visited on a very warm and humid Saturday evening and were pleased by the cool and open plan layout inside.

Upon entering, we were a little surprised at how open it was – basically a large room with two long hotplates, with seating around them in the form of an oval. It felt a little like walking into someone’s house, and although our welcome by the waitress was very friendly, it almost felt as if we were intruding when we entered the room and everyone looked up. However, we soon relaxed and were entertained as well as fed by a rather serious looking but obviously skilled chef.

The waitress and also the chef spoke a little English, and we were promptly offered drinks and asked if we preferred sirloin or fillet steak. My companion selected fillet steak and a very reasonably priced Beaujolais from the extensive wine list, and I chose draught beer to accompany my sirloin steak.

As we had ordered the 6,000 yen course it was not long before our entrée arrived. We had some cold corn soup, smoked salmon, beef, shrimp and something that looked and tasted like the jellyfish you often get at Chinese restaurants in Japan. The reason we were not sure was because there was no explanation of the dish, which was disappointing even though the food was very good.

Next came some pieces of fish cake, konnyaku and sweet corn that were grilled in front of us on the hotplate. The fish cake was excellent and the chef explained it contained fish, scallop and crab. The konnyaku, which I am normally not a big fan of, was surprisingly good too, and the sweet corn, which was cooked on top of what looked like a pancake batter, was excellent.

When our steaks arrived we were very impressed by their size and watched with keen anticipation as they were carefully cooked in front of us. The chef performed tricks with the salt and pepper shakers, and used these seasonings liberally over the steaks. It was not long before they were cooked to perfection. To say that these were probably the best steaks we have ever eaten is not an overstatement, as both the flavour and texture of them was superb. The fillet was so incredibly tender that it almost felt like eating high-class sushi, as it seemed to just disappear on the top of your tongue.
The sirloin was excellent as well, with a slightly stronger beef flavour and a firmer texture. The vegetables that accompanied the steak were also delicious, with the large green asparagus being slightly crunchy, and the eggplant not bitter at all. I found myself eating a lot of the garlic chips that were provided, as they went well with everything we had.
The fatty end of my sirloin steak was removed and cut into small pieces that were then grilled for a long time, to make it almost like steak “pork cracking’, and was surprisingly delicious – if somewhat unhealthy. The salad that came with the steak was only average, but enjoyable as it balanced the other strong flavours we were enjoying.
Before our next course we were given ice water and some miso soup, this was followed by rice where you could choose either garlic or fish flavour, so we had one of each. The fish flavoured rice was nothing special, but I enjoyed the garlic rice even though my companion thought it was too overpowering.

We were both very hungry when we arrived at the restaurant, but by this stage were full and satisfied. As far as the performance went, dessert was the main attraction as brandy was used in a spectacular fiery display – and the lights were even dimmed to add to the effect. A lot of time is taken to poach the peaches in contreau and brandy for the “peach melba” dessert, which was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked.
Overall, we found this restaurant to be very good, and although it is not overly cheap it is certainly worth going to if you enjoy steak and wine.

Dokan Kagari
Address:26-3, Senbon-nisimachi,Numazu
Budget:Lunch:2,100 yen Dinner:6,000 yen

Tim and Karen's review

Overall evaluation:
Value for money:

Please see a page here about detailed information on WIREDiCON.

No comments: