Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ukiyo- Revisit

This week hubby and I had a date night and decided on Ukiyo. I was interested to see how the menu had shifted now that we are going into summer. I was not disappointed. First of all, one of the first things they told us were the specials which included soft-shell crab. So instantly, I was happy.

We ordered two soft-shell crabs (there was one per order) ($13 each). Loved the pickled ramps with it—added a saltiness to the crabs that was tasty. They were just lightly fried with corn starch—a very light batter. These were super meaty crabs too—love it when you get a nice bite of crab with the crunchy soft shell. I will admit, I did dip it into some of the sauce from the gyoza—which was a soy/vinegar sauce with a bit of heat.

So those vegetable gyozas ($15) were also so good. They were wontons stuffed with scallions, mushrooms and glass noodles—it was minced inside so it still came across similar in consistency to a pork dumpling even though it was veggie. The filling was super flavorful and the dumpling itself was perfectly seared on one side. Like I said, the slightly spicy vinegar soy dipping sauce was really, really good. I could sit and eat those little dumplings all day. And I am glad to see they finally have dumplings on the menu. Maybe they will do a seafood one someday—that would be so good too.

We had the negiyaki ($13) as well which was a potato, leek, and green onion pancake with a ginger miso sauce and a fried sunny side up egg and fish flakes on top. I enjoyed the flavor of this one a lot, but the stringiness of the leeks and green onions made the texture a little off for me. That egg was perfect though.

We also had the tuna nigiri tasting flight ($16), which was a fun thing to try—you got one piece each of the lean tuna, the fatty tuna, and the really fatty belly tuna. Honestly, I probably liked the first two the best—and even that lean piece just melted in your mouth. The belly tuna was actually a little too fatty for me—made it a little chewy. But hubby loved it. Although he did say he would be perfectly content with either of the first two as well. It was fun to compare them.

Lastly, we had the crab fat fried rice ($17). This might have been hubby’s favorite thing of the evening. I loved the way they put the warm egg yolk in the middle of it to mix in to the rice, which cooked it a little bit more, but still stayed runny, as opposed to scrambling them into the rice. It gave it a luxurious creamy texture. And you can’t go wrong with the big chunks of crab in there. There was also a sweet/tanginess from yuzu and saltiness from miso. 

All in all, this was the best meal I have had at Ukiyo to date. I have always enjoyed it, but I feel like the menu is continuing to evolve and it has been for the better. If you have yet to check it out, now is the time. And hopefully they will still have the soft-shell crab.

4907 49th Street
Indy  46205

Monday, May 20, 2019

Caplinger's -Revisit

You know how much I love soft shell crabs. The other day I saw this picture on Instagram and immediately texted hubby to say we were going for lunch. Sadly, by the time we got there, they were already out of the soft-shell crabs, which made me sad. However, since we were already there, we went ahead and ordered the “The platter” ($15.99) to share. This is a dinner that consist of one piece of fried basa, ¼ pound of fried shrimp and ¼ pound of fried clam strips. Also, you get two sides and two hushpuppies.  My son got the Caplinger’s special sandwich ($6.99) which comes with 1 side. 

They fry up some good  seafood at Caplinger’s, and even though I was sad about the soft-shell crab. The basa is actually even better than some of the more expensive fish I think—it has great flaky but moist texture. The shrimp might be my favorite though—their little fried shrimp are delicious. The clam strips were a mixed review—hubby didn’t love them, but I had several that were really soft and tender. A couple were chewy (why hubby didn’t like them). They give you cocktail sauce and remoulade sauce—I really like the remoulade. It is tangy and has some nicely seasoned. I like this on everything. The hush puppies are tasty too—a nice corn bread type flavor. We always get the fries which are heavily seasoned waffle fries. Love them in ketchup. I struggle with a second side—the weakness of Caplinger’s for me is the sides. We get mac and cheese, which is tasty, but not as good as the fried stuff. 

My son loved his sandwich, although he usually ends up eating it open faced because their pretzel rolls are really big. 

All in all, even though I was sad about the sift shells (always another day), we had a very tasty lunch. And we got a nice piece of fresh salmon for dinner on the way out. Caplinger’s is a great place to have in Indy and I hope you go if you haven’t already (they are closed Monday though, so don’t go today!).

Caplinger’s Fresh Seafood
7460 North Shadeland Ave
Indy. 46250

Monday, May 13, 2019

Northside Social - Revisit

Hubby and I were having a hard time deciding where to eat the other day, but we wanted a nice sit-down place, not too far, locally owned, and where we could get in without a reservation.  So we settled on Northside Social. It had been awhile, and I have heard a few good things lately—and the last dinner I had was pretty good even though it was a long time ago. I like the low country bent of the menu—southern coastal food with a fair amount of Cajun type flavors. 

I appreciate the upscale interior of this place—particularly in Broad Ripple. Sadly, it was pretty empty when we got there—although it picked up somewhat while we were there. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. 

We started with the mushroom tart ($13). It was a tart crust topped with a whole lot of sautéed (local) mushrooms, a big slab of Capriole Kentucky Tomme cheese, petals of pickled red pearl onions and crispy fried kale. This was truly delicious. Honestly, I couldn’t get over how good it was. The buttery tart with the rich, slightly pungent cheese, earthy mushrooms and kale and the perfect hit of acid with the onions was tremendous. I would get this every time.

For our main dishes, we got the fried chicken (shocker I know) ($23) and a special pasta dish with shrimp. The fried chicken was pickle brined and buttermilk marinated and had more of a corn meal sort of breading. It was served with pimento mac and cheese and bacon braised collard greens. I loved the very mild sour flavor from the pickle and buttermilk, the crust was unbelievably crisp—normally I don’t prefer a cornmeal crust, but this was really tasty. And we didn’t eat it all that night and it was almost better the next day. I was super impressed by how moist and tender all the chicken was—even the breast, which was very large—which I find to be notoriously dry usually. The mac and cheese was a large portion and extremely decadent with pimento cheese. The collard greens weren’t bad either, although compared to everything else, they weren’t as impressive. 

Sadly, the pasta was not as tasty as everything else for me, although it was still good. It was pasta with a light buttery pesto-type sauce with spring peas, pine nuts and some large shrimp. The shrimp were not overcooked, which was nice. Hubby liked it more than I did—or I guess I just preferred the other things. 

All in all, I was quite impressed with the food we had and the various flavor profiles in each dish. If you haven’t been in a while, you might want to check it out again. 

Northside Social
6525 N. College Ave
Indy.  46220

Monday, May 6, 2019

Milktooth- Revisit

Hubby and I had a free weekday lunch the other day and decided to head to Milktooth. I have not been in quite a while and it was still as busy as I remember—we had to wait quite a bit for a table. Eventually we got the end of one of the community tables.

We were lured back in by the fact they had returned the Korean BBQ wings to the menu, which were always a favorite. For a long time they replaced them with hot wings that had a warning that came on the menu saying they were so hot and that they wouldn’t offer a refund if you thought they were too hot. I hate food that eats away your taste buds, and I hate the fact that they billed something like this—a total turnoff to me. But when I saw the BBQ wings, I was excited.

However, once we got there, we decided we should try something new to go with the burger that we absolutely had to get (it is one of the best in town if you ask me no matter how they make it). So we ordered the burger, and we went with the everything spice fried new potatoes with a sunny side egg, cream cheese chive aioli, shallot, caper and dill pickle ($12). This was a great dish and we were very happy we ventured out with something new (even though I still want those wings). It’s sort of like all the flavors of bagel and lox without the salmon, if that makes sense. And I loved, loved the pickles and capers with it. And the creamy aioli—but with tons of texture from all the seeds. 

Like I said, the burger ($12) is always good. Always. Sometimes they mix up the meat, sometimes the toppings. This one was a double--sometimes they are singles. Since the first time I have gotten it, I nearly always have repeated it. The meat is tender, the sauces add just the right amount of flavor and interest. And the bun is just the right softness. It’s one of our best Indy burgers, let’s face it.

All in all, while it may not be the hot place, and while I may not be able to go as often as I used to, it is still a great place. I am glad to see that they are continuing to mix up the menu on occasion, as it seemed like it got a little stagnant for a while.  If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time. 

540 Virginia Ave
Indy  46203