It was a warm summer’s evening when my friends Evelyn and Paul met up with my boyfriend and I for dinner at Summer Supper, a pop up store that only opens in July and August. The restaurant was nondescript from the outside, in fact I walked past it and had to come back. The only signage it had was a newspaper stuck onto the door, ‘Summer Supper’ written in gray, faded letters.
When I walked in, the smell of delicious, grilled eel filled the air. The restaurant was dim, and could fit only 8. There was another group of Japanese guys there, all young and very hip looking.
Dinner started with a course of fresh cheese in olive oil, with a sprinkling of crushed pistachios. The cheese was perfect, flavored well, not too strong. The pistachios were a welcome surprise, and paired deliciously.
Next was duck with blistered peppers, wrapped in Shiso leaf. This was inspired by a a Shiso maki. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of Shiso, but the combination of the tart leaf, plump duck and slight bitterness of the pepper had me swooning in delight.
Our next dish was beef from Wakayama with cucumbers. The saltiness of the beef were offset by the freshness of the cucumber and vegetables.
I initially thought we were being served sashimi, but it turned out to be dehydrated watermelon. It tasted as good as it looked. Later, they poured what I initially thought was soup over it, but I later found out that the ‘soup’ was extracted during the cheese making process. The watermelon was soft and sweet, like a taste of summer. The cheese soup was an amazing complement, balancing out flavors wonderfully.
Pork from Tagoshima in the most interesting combination was served. You don’t see the pork in the picture, as it was smothered in marinated caramel onion. Tucked underneath were radish with seaweed water, and eggplant purée. This was so, so, so good, I could have eaten ten plates of it.
The dish I had been looking forward to all night was grilled eel. Served with rice, an egg yolk and soup, it was satisfying on every doubt. The burnt, crispy edges of the eel were coated in a sweet, dark sauce. My only complaint would be that I couldn’t have more!
To finish off dinner, we were presented with two desserts. The first was a peach cake, where a delicate, sweet peach slice sat atop a soft, spongy cake. It feels so good to eat something cold on a warm day!
The second was a dessert from Tohoku. Made from green beans and rice cracker ice, this popsicle was apparently a common dessert for the people of Sendai. When I first heard it was made with green beans, I imagined I would be eating some kind of icy version of a pea soup, but it tasted completely different from what I was expecting. The taste of the green beans were very mild, definitely present, but in no way overpowering. This was also a treat for the eyes, garnished with edible flowers.
Final verdict? It was amazing. Perfect. Delicious! The owner, Kai Tanaka, was very friendly and spoke both Japanese and English. He told us that he owned a bar in Kabukicho called Open Book, so it’s something I’m keen to check out.
If you’d like to check them out, details over here!
For more yum in your tum, see here for more foodventures!