I’ve been excited to try this place for a while—it’s new so of course everyone seems to be trying it so make a reservation in advance if you want to go. It’s located at the Bottleworks too—but it’s a full sit-down restaurant. It’s also a Cunningham joint. It’s got a modern vibe inside, unfortunately was freezing when we went inside (classic Hoosier move) but luckily, they had a sort of outside area with a garage door so we sat there so we didn’t need to have parkas on in July.
Anyhow, we started with several apps—the soft-shell crab tempura with chili aioli and cabbage (hold the candied peanuts because my son is allergic) ($18). We also had the bao buns with grilled pork, Asian slaw and miso aioli ($16). Both were really good. My favorite was the crab—it was perfectly fried and still really hot and crisp and the aioli was just spicy enough. My family loved the pork buns and they were good—I liked the crisp edge on the pork and the fact that they had a different flavored aioli for those—hate it when places repeat the same sauces on everything. I also liked that the pork wasn’t too fatty.
We shared a bunch of stuff for our main dishes. We had the mapo tofu ($12), the umami noodles ($16), the robata grill salmon ($27) and the robata grill Wagyu striploin ($95). Yes, the steak is a huge splurge that we had to convince hubby of, but it was well worth it in the end and both he and my son still talk about that steak and how they will definitely be ordering it again. Wagyu has that melt in your mouth quality and then the super high heat of the charcoal robata grill gives everything it cooks a super crisp grilled edge that not only adds flavor but texture to the outside without tasting like it is burnt. We asked for our miso-glazed salmon to be pretty rare and it was really wonderfully cooked as well—super tender inside with that crisp edge. All the robata entrées come with “wasabi mooncakes,” which are basically hash brown cakes with a little wasabi flavor. They were tasty and each plate came with 2, so we each got one. Anyway, as you can probably tell, the robata stuff is really good. I would like to try it all.
Hubby and I also really liked the mapo tofu, but I can’t seem to sell my kids on tofu and my daughter doesn’t love really spicy things. It has a spicy bean sauce on it and it was pretty spicy, as it should be, and really well done. There were toasty rice cake balls in there as well—I love the combination of these textures of the crisp tofu that is still soft inside and the rice cake. I would easily get this again, especially in different company where I could share as it is a generous portion.
The only let down were the noodles. They were kind of dense and stuck together—maybe like they were a bit overcooked. The favors were pretty rich—pork belly, edamame, black garlic and parmesan. There was a lot of umami, but it was just too much if you ask me. I was pushing for the tamarind noodles which probably have more of the taste I would prefer, but hopefully the noodles would not be overcooked next time. Honestly with so many options on the menu we didn’t get to try at all (dumplings, sushi, tartares, etc.), I would probably just skip the noodles next time and go with something else.
We did get a dessert as well and it was very good too. It was the marshmallow pudding with miso caramel and a sesame seed wafer. It was interesting and different and really tasted like marshmallow, but somehow more sophisticated with the miso and sesame. This was a hit with everyone.
All in all, we had a really good meal and it is one of the places my daughter has requested to go again before she goes away to college on the East Coast. I will keep you updated.
850 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 100