I’m not even sure where to begin. I guess I’ll begin with saying that I wish they served breakfast because I’d be back there right now. For those who aren’t aware, Tei An is a Japanese restaurant specializing in handmade soba noodles. There is no website. They are located in One Arts Plaza. I would imagine there is no website because Chef Teiichi is a very busy man. The menu is extensive and soba is just the beginning. Well, the end in our case.
We took Brad’s advice and ordered the Omakase, which is basically putting yourself in the chef’s hands. We explained that we were new to this cuisine and that we would like this to be our introduction to this type of food. The manager, Ayako, was very pleasant. She asked us if there was anything we didn’t want to be served. We told her we were up for anything and that we would like drinks to go with it all.
Our beginning cocktail was called “Lost Paradise”. Iichiko vodka, ginger ale and lime. Simple and refreshing. A white seaweed salad was our first course. The white seaweed looked like delicate ivory ruffles. The flavor was mild, but addictive. Just as I was wanting more, out came our sashimi and a Masumi sake. The sake is served in a wooden box. Very cute. I’m nuts for food that is beautiful to look at and this sashimi was just that. It’s served resting against the background of a fish with it’s fins splayed out. Lovely. Very fresh sashimi. I can’t remember all the different types of fish that were on the plate. Most of the standard stuff. It was the uni that knocked me out on this course. It was so good it was almost sweet. When Mandy, our server, returned to the table she smiled and said, “You already are doing good. You didn’t mix your wasabi into your soy sauce”. That was some serious wasabi, too.
The next surprise was a plate with two skewers of pork. The flavor of this pork was incredible. There was almost a creaminess to the texture. I asked Mandy why it was so good? She said that the pigs only ate potatoes. Good enough for me. I’d like to get a hold of one of those pigs.
Dewazakura sake came next. Very good. I’m not sure what kind of fish head appeared next. But, it was a big old fish head. Basically, you find the pieces of meat in the cheeks and hidden corners. Excellent flavor and, while not so pretty as the sashimi, very interesting to look at. This was served with a daikon radish that appeared to be braised with dark and light miso sauces draped over it.
While we waited for our soba noodles we had a drink called Touge. Ayako told us it was vodka with warm soba noodle water poured into the cup. Surprisingly, it was very mild and kind of comforting. I usually stay away from liquor and water drinks because they just don’t taste good to me. But, I enjoyed this quite a lot. We opted to have cold soba and warm soba. The cold dish was simple, letting the flavor of this handmade noodle shine through. Being that it was such a cold night, though, I think we enjoyed the warm dish better. The noodles were served in a flavorful broth with slices of duck. Excellent.
The dining room is very spare in decor. Everything was perfectly placed. The centerpiece of the dining area is a huge rock with water running over it. So lovely. And, I have to mention the restroom. The door to the stall is clear glass. But, when you go inside and lock it the clear glass becomes opaque, like magic. What a fun touch. The sinks are filled with ice and the fixtures are all stark and beautiful. Can we say that the restaurant is perfect in just about every way?
You could have poured me into the car, I was so relaxed and sated. I can’t wait to go back.