I found Takashi when looking for a ramen place close to Christopher Street and did not expect to find a menu where all parts (yes, I wrote ALL) of a cow would be eaten. For sure they have ramen, but what convinced me to go was more the other dishes that would probably creep out many people. I went alone as there was no way Jodi would have joined the experience or should I say experiment...
This place was packed from the moment I came to the moment I left. I got a good seat, right in front of the open kitchen (they have two), giving me the opportunity to see how some of the dishes were prepared. At Takashi, they crafted a menu that is fairly interesting, with items ready to eat, others to be cooked in the kitchen or on the grill that was on the table.
As I ordered, they brought me some small dishes or banchan, complimentary:
Cabbage with ginger and carrot sauce:
I decided to go with three appetizers:
The first one was foie gras stuffed kobe meatball. It was sitting on top of a quail egg and they poured a very hot BBQ chocolate sauce (you can see some bubbles on the right of the photo). It was piping hot, cooking the raw egg, and the chocolate aroma filled my nose fairly quickly. I really liked it: decadent, you could taste the foie gras from time to time and the meatball was succulent, not dry, complemented perfectly by the chocolate sauce that was not too sweet.
The next dish was craw fish and bone marrow dumplings.
They was another pouring on top of the dish, but this time it was not chocolate, but hot (very hot) peanut oil sauce. It was a beautiful presentation, each dumpling sitting on a piece of bone. Taste wise, it was good, although I would have never guessed that it was made with the two ingredients mentioned above.
The last dish was the one I wanted to absolutely try because I have never seen the main component on any menu yet. This is called Testicargot and is in fact cow balls escargot style, served with a garlic shiso butter. This was a great opportunity to prove my theory that with escargots, the best part is the sauce made with butter, garlic and parsley. Well, after tasting these cow balls, I can tell you that I was wrong. Although I must admit that at Takashi, they could put much more butter to smother these little balls. They were just ok and maybe would be better fried, giving a better texture to it. Yes, definitely the texture was...special: very soft, except the top part that was as if there was some cartilage. Taste wise, it was a bit bland. And guess what: I finished the dish as I did not want to drop the ball(s)...
Takashi is definitely an interesting place, a bit pricey for some of the items like the kobe meatball. Of course, you do not have to eat creepy stuff there, but then, where is the fun? Would I go back? Maybe. This time to try the calf brain presented in a tube and served with caviar and blinis...So original! And if you want to know if I would try again cow balls, I would say yes, but cooked differently.
Enjoy (I did)!
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