All tagged creamy texture
This past New Year's Eve we found ourselves in Osaka, one of the "kitchens of Japan." Unfortunately for us, the time around New Year's is a dead zone in Japan: nearly every restaurant is closed for the week-long New Year's holiday. There were some restaurants open, but they were all located inside the major hotels. There was a part of me that wanted to stick to Japanese-only "local" food, but another that was pretty hungry. Having never tried Italian cuisine in Japan, I made a last-minute reservation at the newly opened Italian restaurant at the St. Regis: La Veduta.
The dining room was gorgeous: oversized chandeliers illuminating an open kitchen with large windows providing a view over downtown Osaka. Our maitre'd was Piemontese, a pleasant surprise of authenticity being nearly 6,000 miles away from Italy. The menu was prix-fixe which took the stress out of ordering. We ordered a glass of champagne and mentally transported ourselves to Europe.
In a country known for its extensive use of butter, it's refreshing to have a meal where butter is scarce. Dinner at Agapé is light and clean making use of only the freshest seasonal ingredients.
The name Agapé itself is one of three Greek words roughly translated into English as love. This title is well-suited as the energetic and enthusiastic passion of the entire staff comes through immediately. I'd never seen a maître'd more genuinely excited to put together a tasting menu. He was proud of the restaurant's creations. And it showed.
The meal started with an amuse bouche of mousseline de potimarron avec orange, graine de tournesol, a thick soup of winter squash brightened by orange zest and sunflower seeds. The soup had a strong flavor of pumpkin with a slightly grainy and creamy texture. The raw sunflower seeds seemed a little misplaced at first; but then I began to enjoy the textural contrast it provided to keep each spoonful interesting. I really liked this.