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Sushi time at Hashiguchi Jr.

The 6 of us, Jeff and I with our friends John, Emily, Marshall, and Kelly, arrived at Hashiguchi Jr. last night for a sushi explosion.

Jeff and I had a moment of pause when we, arriving at the restaurant first, noticed a sign on the door saying that they were unable to sell alcohol at that moment.

Hashiguchi Jr. menu

No sake! No shochu! No beer! No matter, we just gulped down like 5 or so cups of this great green tea each. It was nice and grassy and full of swirling matcha particles. Maybe that sounds gross, but that’s exactly how it should be and exactly how I like to drink it. Success!

Hot green tea

First we ordered two plates of takoyaki for the table, fried balls of batter with a hidden piece of octopus lurking inside and covered with nori powder, sweet sauce, and bonito flake. Bonito is so weird-looking, it’s paper-thin so the steam from the takoyaki was causing it to curl and flail about like a living thing!

Takoyaki and kewpie mayo

Then we had beef tataki. This had been slightly seared on the outside before slicing, so it had a nice contrast of cooked and raw textures.

Seared beef tataki with scallions

Each couple ordered a bowl of noodle soup, ours being a ramen with pork and egg. The broth was very unusual in that it tasted heavily of sesame, it was almost like peanut butter in flavor!

Pork ramen in sesame broth

And then the first round of sushi: In the very back is fatty tuna, followed by ikura (salmon eggs,) then 6 pieces of hamachi (yellowtail,) and tamago aka sweet egg omelet.

Hamachi, ikura, tamago, toro

Samurai roll…

Samurai roll with eel sauce, mayo, and sriracha

Samurai roll with eel sauce, mayo, and sriracha

Various maki rolls…

Various maki at Hachiguchi Jr.

Maki of tuna, spicy tuna, yellowtail, and dragon roll with avocado

And a plate of freshwater eel nigiri in  a lot of eel sauce…

Freshwater eel nigiri with eel sauce

We started the next round off with a grilled dish…

Miso-glazed salmon cheek off the grill

Miso-glazed salmon cheek off the grill

And then ordered two special appetizers of ankimo, which is monkfish liver.  It tastes kind of nutty reminding me of a really bland peanut butter with a slightly salty oceanic flavor. Sounds weird, but it’s actually pretty good.

Ankimo aka monkfish liver, in ponzu sauce

Even more sushi!

Round two of nigiri at Hashiguchi Jr.

Uni, toro, salmon, octopus, salmon maki, salmon skin roll

I was so full by the end of all this, we always seem to order too much at sushi restaurants. I still managed to have dessert at home which was a box of strawberry Pocky.

Strawberry pocky for dessert

Ahhh… a nice night of cracking jokes and stuffing our faces full of raw fish. That’s what I call a good time!


Thymebombe is 27!

Well, Thyme Bombe the blog is only around 7 months old. But as for me, Thymebombe the living breathing human, I turned 27 yesterday at precisely 4:46pm!

I didn’t do any crazy partying or anything (gettin’ to old for all that jazz.) Instead, I spent the day doing some personal shopping since I haven’t bought myself a new article of clothing in ages and then Jeff and I got gussied up for a nice dinner together.

Chandelier in the W

We went to Spice Market, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten joint. Dude is a majorly famous chef, so we had high hopes for his south-asian themed fine dining incarnation.

Plating at Spice Market

Lemme go ahead and tell you right now that the lighting was terrible and all of these shots are super-blurry, they didn’t look that way on my camera screen but apparently they don’t scale-up well.

We, of course, started off by ordering cocktails. Jeff went for a standard Old Fashioned with Blanton’s bourbon and I had a ginger margarita with a ginger salt crusted rim.

Ginger margarita

It was really good, not too sour and just enough ginger flavor.

We were served a starter of papadams with an Indian curry “salsa.” Delicious! Very sweet and tomatoey with hints of onion and deep spices.

Papadums and curry "salsa"

We ordered two appetizers to start with: calamari with basil salt and sriracha aioli followed by black pepper shrimp over sundried pineapple.

The calamari was some of the best I’ve ever had. The batter was so light and not greasy at all. The dipping sauce was addictive with it’s creaminess calming the spicy sriracha.

The black pepper shrimp were cooked very well, still bouncy and succulent. The sauce was spicy and earthy and heavily garlic-laden. I was sad that the pineapple was kind of sour. It’s just not in season and you could really tell that it lacked the honeyed juiciness that only an in-season sun-drenched pineapple has.

Next up, we ordered two more appetizers: A tuna tartare and the ginger fried rice with panko-crusted runny egg.

Tuna tartare

Ginger fried rice

This is where the dinner started to take a turn downhill.

Tuna tartare may be a cliche item on every fine-dining restaurants menu, but it’s one of my favorite things in the world, so you can usually bet that I’ll order it if it’s offered. This tartare was absolutely drowning in the intensely-flavored chili dressing. It made the tartare so wet that it was falling apart and becoming a soup. The dressing was also just so intense in flavor that you couldn’t taste the tuna or avocado at all, rendering the expensive and beautiful tuna to little more than a flavorless textural vehicle for sopping up more sauce. Sad.

The fried rice was ok. When I took my first bite of it I was in love with it’s creaminess from the raw egg yolk and the intense onion flavor and perfect sticky texture of the rice. As I kept eating though, I fell out of love with every bite. It was extremely oily, for one thing, and I discovered as I ate that it was sitting in a puddle of soy sauce that made the last few bites an insufferable salt lick.

Moving on.

We shared the short rib entree which was described as being garlic and onion crusted, but was no such thing.

Short rib with noodles

This was one of the most bizarre things I have ever received in a restaurant. It was almost entirely flavorless. The noodles tasted like bland paste and made no sense with this giant hunk of flavorless meat. The whole dish was really oily and fatty, and though the short rib was fall-apart tender, it just didn’t taste like anything. It’s like they boiled this whole dish in plain water and then added food coloring to make it look like a broth. FAIL.

Anyway, a nice meal isn’t complete without dessert, right?

Yay! A personalized pavlova with white chocolate cream, yuzu sorbet, and sweet basil oil drizzle.

Now this was a winner! Jeff could not shut up about how amazing the basil oil was. I could have eaten that yuzu sorbet alone, you could really taste the zest in it! We both felt that it would be a better dessert without the white chocolate, which didn’t seem to go well with the other more summery flavors, but it was a really yummy sweet nonetheless.

So, all in all, we liked Spice Market ok. It didn’t seem like very authentic asian flavors, and that was kind of what we were expecting. Aside from that though, it just didn’t seem to live up to the quality I would expect from the restaurant of a famous chef. We enjoyed ourselves, but we won’t be going back or recommending it to others.

Spice Market ceiling

That’s ok, I still had a great birthday, I don’t need things to go perfectly for me to have a good time. :)

27th birthday at Spice Market

Hanging out with this guy is all I need to enjoy myself. 😉

Here’s to 27 years of life!


Dinner in a Canoe

Awesome dinner last night with my wonderful in-laws.

Jeff and I met up with his parents at Canoe in early celebration of their anniversary and also for my birthday (I’ll be 27 on Tuesday, woo!)

Canoe is a gorgeous restaurant situated right next to the Chattahoochee River with beautifully landscaped lawns for strolling in the springtime when the dogwoods blossom and hang low over the river and geese grunt their territorial protestations from the manicured flower beds.

Being that it’s winter though, we did no strolling. But luckily, Canoe has so much more to offer than a pretty view. Their menu, focusing on fresh fish, house-grown vegetables and herbs, and succulent game meats, is fantastic and makes it an impossible task to choose something ho-hum.

We started with a breadbasket of sourdough, cranberry-walnut bread, and a spicy jalapeno flatbread. The flatbread was my favorite, it was an explosion of buttery flavor followed by a creeping heat.

breadbasket at Canoe

I had a Calvados Punch, an apple-flavored cocktail that was deceptively fruity.

Calvados punch

And Jeff ordered an Old Fashioned with Blanton’s bourbon.

Blanton's Old Fashioned

For starters, I got the artisan cheese salad. Jeff’s mom, Nancy, got the same. I don’t think either of us were expecting the giant wheel of cheese and explosion of bacon that arrived and both of us ended up pawning off some of the richness on Jeff, who was only too happy to finish it off. It was delicious though, I wish I had asked what the cheese was because it was easily one of the yummiest I’ve ever had.

Artisan cheese salad

I got the special for my main course which was a macadamia crusted grouper with crispy rice, brussels and mushrooms, basil oil, and some sort of creamy sauce that was crazy-good.

Macadamia grouper

Jeff got the duck breast. You can pretty much bet on Jeff ordering duck if it’s offered on any menu. I’m not a huge fan of it personally, and this breast was much too rare for me. He loved it though, along with the veggie and duck sausage stuffed crepe and sweet chili and fruit sauce.

Duck with stuffed crepes

Ok, I’m sharing everyone’s meals because they were just so good. Nancy had the salmon with baby spinach and spaghetti squash and a citrus pecan vinaigrette.

Salmon with spaghetti squash

Mike got the rabbit with swiss chard, bacon ravioli, sweet potato hash, and candied garlic sauce. I’ve had this entree before years ago and I know that it’s a hit. The slow-roasted rabbit reminds me of soft and sweet pulled pork barbeque.

Rabbit over bacon ravioli

For dessert, we shared the chocolate chestnut roulade. A super-soft slice of clove-tinged pinwheel cake with chestnut creme, chocolate frosting, cracked macarons, and creme anglaise.

I could’ve made a meal out of this! It was everything I look for in a perfect dessert; cooling, creamy, soft, and luscious.

Chocolate chestnut roulade

Jeff knows that it’s a husbands job to relinquish most of the dessert to the wife. 😉

Jeff and I at Canoe

We had a really great time together and a fantastic meal.

Tucker family at Canoe

Love these guys!