After having such amazing time at Mifune the first visit (you can read about it here: http://www.foodlovergirl.com/mifune-new-york/ ), we went back for more! We got there shortly after they opened for the evening, so we were one of the first few customers. The interior was as beautiful and tranquil as before.
We started off with champagne, complimentary of the chef! What a wonderful way to start off the dinner…
At our last visit, we tried their Mifune Tasting Menu, so this time, we tried their Chef’s Tasting Menu ($120), which is a 9 course dinner. The first course was Pumpkin Pottage Soup. It was sweet, creamy and velvety. Super comforting and had deep, warm, earthy flavor. Bacon bits were great, a bit salty flavor, which enhanced the sweetness of the soup.
I think maybe the inspiration came from the chef’s mom? We saw a video of the chef, and how his mom made pumpkin soup for him when he was little. He was very picky eater and hated vegetable. She tried to make a delicious vegetable dish so that he can get good nutrition. He talked about how much he loved the soup, and that the time and effort his mom spent for him out of love and care is his inspiration for cooking. What a sweet story! And yes, he does his mother proud with this rich soup!
The second course was Today’s Amuse Bouche. It had three items on the tray, which was more than I expected. It is always good to get more than you thought you are getting…especially something so delicious!
The first one I tried was pork and duck sausage? It was a cold sausage, juicy and packed with flavor. A bit salty, but to me it was the perfect seasoning. The second one I tried was milk tofu with Ikura. This was a pleasant surprise. The milk tofu was so velvety, sweet and with texture was like a firmer form of mousse. Dashi Jus was great, and of course I loved the fresh ikura…!
The last Amuse Bouche I tried was an interesting hard cone looking item. It had chestnut and sweet potato in the inside. It was nutty and creamy, kind of like peanut butter, but not sweet. It had its natural sweetness with earthy flavor. I really enjoyed the crunchy texture against the creamy textures.
The next course was supposed to be Smoked Spanish Mackerel, but what our waitress brought to our table was something very different… Since she didn’t offer any explanation and left as soon as she put the plates on our table, we had to call her back to get some answers. Then, she said “oh, um, they don’t have mackerel today, so it is a butter fish today.” Well, thanks for the explanation, finally… Isn’t it a common courtesy to let the customer know if they are receiving something different from what they ordered? Anyways, this was the same dish that we had at our previous visit, but larger in portion. We really enjoyed the dish the last time, so we were ok with the change.
The Smoked Butter Fish was very meaty, with nice firm texture. It was super fresh, and not fishy at all. I really enjoyed the crunchy radishes against the fish, bringing in some extra refreshing flavor. It was as good as I remembered them to be from our previous visit, I was happy to have it again.
The fourth course was Steamed Oyster in Oxtail Soup with Bone Marrow and Leek Mousse. The aroma of this dish was really nice. The moment the plates were brought to the table, we were welcomed by warm, soothing, comforting aroma of deliciousness.
The oysters were steamed in Sake, and the size of oysters were quite impressive. I don’t think I have ever seen oyster of this size! Super big, and yes, sensual… Leek was crunchy and fresh, bone marrow is creamy, melt in your mouth while bringing such depth to the dish. Comforting yet elegant dish.
The next one was quite interesting. It was Monkfish Liver Mousse Monaka with Kelp Marinated Fluke and Persimmons. the white-ish dish on the bottom of the colorful topping is monaka, which is a thin, crispy wafer. So much was happening on one dish – texture, flavor, ingredients… – but magically worked perfectly. It was refreshing, sweet, salty, creamy, meaty, and crunchy all at the same time! It sure was fun to eat.
The sixth course was my husband’s favorite. It was Monkfish Hot Pot MIFUNE Style. The dish itself, “monkfish hot pot” is not that uncommon in Japan. But, they of course elevate this old-fashion, country side dish into something fabulous and elegant. The broth is made with bone broth, using the chef’s experience as a French chef, as he does with many of the dishes he creates. A wonderful fusion of Japanese and French flavors.
The fish was meaty and fluffy, plump and comforting. Veggies were fresh and crunchy, wish soft and plump mushrooms. There is Uni-Miso all around the inner rim of the pot. Uni-miso is a mixture of uni (sea urchin) and miso, and some seasoning like sugar. The chef told me that since not everyone likes Uni-miso, he put it on the rim. Then, the customer has the choice to eat the uni-miso with the hot pot or leave them as is…how considerate! I loved the Uni-miso, it was creamy and earthy, nice salty flavor from uni and smokey flavor. It went great with the light bone broth soup and fluffy fish. The perfect winter dish! We absolutely LOVED this dish!!! It was a symphony in our mouth and soothing to our soul.
The seventh course was a choice of meat dish. I went with Straw-Smoked Lamb Chop with Black Garlic Miso Sauce. It was quite elaborate dish with lots of burdock root chips on top. I could barely see the lamb chop with the toppings, but it certainly was there!
The lamb was soft and tender, juicy and melt in your mouth good. The sauce was really nice, went perfectly with the lamb. The only thing was that it had a bit more fat that I prefer… It also came with some mushrooms, which were super plump. I enjoyed the burdock root chips, super crunchy and fun to eat.
My husband chose Roasted Margret Duck Breast with Kokuto Sherry Vinegar Sauce for his meat dish.
The duck had great seasoning, tender and juicy, while having nice firm texture. It was soooo good, melt in your mouth while making all the taste buds happy. It had a nice kick to it from the vinegar. Sauce was great too. It had some eggplant on the side, along with mushrooms, and they were quite tasty as well.
The last savory course was Truffle Somen Noodle. Another fusion of Japanese and French cuisine can be seen from this interesting dish. The noodle dish was brought to the table without the broth. The hot broth was poured over the noodle and truffle at table side.
It had a generous amount of shaved truffles, which was awesome! This dish was super comforting and soothing to both tummy and the soul. The truffles were shaved at nice thickness, not too thin, so that they were almost crunchy. The noodles were cooked just right. Earthy and deep broth, a perfect dish to end the savory part of the course.
The last course was the dessert, which was Today’s Dessert. We went to Mifune for my early Birthday celebration, so chef made a special dessert for me with a message written with chocolate! It had super moist, rich, amazing chocolate cake/brownie on the side with matcha powder. Thank you chef!!!
The actual dessert for this course was Sweet Red Bean Soup. But then again, we didn’t really know it until after we finished the dessert, since our waitress, once again, didn’t offer any explanation of what they are or how they are supposed to be eaten. Inside the bowl, it contained Matcha ice cream, gateau chocolat, mochi, and strawberry. In a cup was white bean milk. We were supposed to pour the milk over, into the bowl, but we didn’t know that so we had them separately. The ice cream had strong matcha flavor, really awesome. The mochi that was fresh and soft. Sweet azuki bean was in there too. The milk had interesting flavor on it sown… It was not sweet, but almost bitter. I am sure it would have been great and delicious if had them the way we were supposed to eat them… We still enjoyed them though.
Our second visit was as delicious and satisfying as our first visit. The only negative was the horrible service from this one particular waitress, and she had to be our waitress… All the other servers seemed to be very nice and friendly, and provided good explanation of the each dishes to their customers from what I saw. We have to get bad service every once in a while to really appreciate the good ones. And at least now I know which server we don’t want, so next time we go back to Mifune, we know who to look our for! And yes, we will definitely go back for more amazing, delicious, creative Japanese and French fusion dishes!
MIFUNE New York – 245 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017