Friday, 27 June 2014


I'm back again...for the third time at The BackBench.
I tried very hard to resist from eating too much earlier in the day at work, and managed to survive nibbling on three mini chocolate brioche buns and a cup of coffee. 
I had clearly built up quite an appetite by the time I arrived at Koya, and (elegantly) plonked myself in the middle of the bench.

Having more recently acquired a liking for sake, I also ordered the sake flight of three 90mL glasses - nothing too hardcore on a 'school-night'.

| Cherry Tomatoes & Shiso Dashi |

Fresh and juicy tomatoes, in a very light shiso dashi.
This was paired with Kamoizumi Junmai Daiginjo "Autumn Elixir", which is described to possess flavours ranging from persimmon to caramel to earthy notes of shiitake and autumn leaves.

| Jellied Turbot, Asparagus & Fresh Wasabi |

Making use of asparagus once again before the season comes to an end. The turbot was first cooked in dashi, and the turbot broth used in making the jelly.

| Chilled Seatrout Surinagashi, Jersey Royals & Wild Pea Shoots |

 Delicious and creamy, and great on a warm summers evening. Another appearance of the Jersey Royal, baked in a similar fashion as before in seaweed and salt. 
This was paired with Terada Honke "Katori 90" Pre Modern Brew, produced organically and the rice only polished 10%, resulting in quite a strong rice bran flavour.

| Early Aubergine & Turnip Kaburamushi |

The turnip, a classic winter dish in Japan. The dish was formed in a way to imitate snow, which Chef Junya improvised with to create a summer version by utilizing aubergine.

| Carp, Peppers & Scottish Girolles |

I don't usually see much carp on menus, and this was grilled really well. Deliciously combined with peppers and one of my favourite mushroom varieties.

| Boar Belly, Wild Spinach & Wild Flowers |

The meat was rish and gamey, slightly chewy, and much leaner than domestic pork.
 Nice sweet, intense flavours, and really well marinated. Served with wild spinach and an eye-catching green sauce, scattered with a variety of wild flowers that they foraged over the weekend. 

| Chilled Cucumber Udon |

I always look forward to the udon course - me and my love for noodles! 
This time the udon was served chilled which was really tasty despite not having any meat in it. I especially loved the paste served with it which was a spicy green chilli paste with fresh Szechuan seeds.

This was paired with Terada Honke "Kaikoshu" Pre Modern Brew 12-Year Aged, which had a much darker colour and deeper flavours, kind of like whisky.

| Elderflower Pickled Daikon |

| Wild Strawberries & Sakekasu Ice Cream |

And finally for dessert, we were once again served the sakekasu ice cream which I really enjoyed, this time combined with wild strawberries. 

Getting a feel and view from the other side of the BackBench!

Another great evening spent at the BackBench. Third time in a row and already looking forward to the summer dates which I have penned down in my diary.

Click on the links below for my previous BackBench posts:

The BackBench #1
The BackBench #2

The Cheekster, signing out x

Square Meal

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