Counseling, okonomiyaki and French toast
My dear readers,
Thank you so much for your concern, the imaginary flowers you have been sending and the pecan pies that you have not been sending our way. Let me assure you that although my blog and I have been separated for a while, we are now seeking professional counseling and we are trying to stay together for the kids. And our puppy. Do remind me to upload pictures of the puppy.
In addition to spending less money and making lists about why we love each other, our hip therapist has suggested we talk about food – you know, a shared interest that makes us both happy (my blog and I, in case you’re getting confused). So, in an effort to save this relationship, here are my thoughts on the last incredible meal I had.
Last Friday (I cannot type those words without Katy Perry bursting into song in my head – you hear it too now, dontcha?) I took my mother and aunt to brunch at Tatami, a small, elegant restaurant in Kuwait City. I’ve been there a few times for dinner and the quality of food far exceeded my expectations. The restaurant also serves a weekend brunch which I’ve been meaning to try for some time. I finally made it over there when they announced their brunch tasting menu.
It was quite an impressive set menu, divided into five sections: Classic Eggs, Okonomiyaki, Sandwiches, Last Bites and Hot Drinks. I quickly convinced my family that we would have to order different dishes and sample from each other.
For the first course (Tatami’s forte, I think!) I ordered the eggs Benedict. My poached egg sat on top of a slice of avocado placed on a delicious butter-chive biscuit. I almost asked for the other half of that biscuit, but the civilized voice inside my head spoke up and told me to behave. The egg was drizzled with a smooth, spiced Hollandaise. I tip my hat to Chef Dana; that was the best Hollandaise I’ve had in Kuwait.
Although my eggs Benedict did not disappoint, I also really enjoyed the sunny-side up and the omelet we ordered. The goat cheese in the shiitake mushroom really notched up the flavors. I also decided that I could live on the bread that the sunny side up egg was served on. Oh and the Teriyaki marinated asparagus – I could live on that, too!
From left to right (starting with the top row): okonomiyaki, eggs Benedict, shiitake mushroom omelet and the sunny side up egg. So what is this okonomiyaki that I speak of? I’m glad you asked! It’s (in my limited understanding of Japanese cuisine and infinite faith in Wikipedia) a savoury pancake, not too different from latkes. The base ingredients are potatoes, flour, eggs and shredded cabbage. We ordered the vegetarian okonomiyaki with shiitake and bell peppers as well the shrimp, parmesan okonomiyaki. The okonomiyaki was served with the eggs and followed by the sandwiches.
The sandwiches were full of fresh, flavorful ingredients (I didn’t try the eggplant but my family and friends raved about it) but they were overshadowed by the other brilliant courses. And speaking of brilliant courses, the desserts that followed were divine. The options were almost overwhelming from green tea pancakes to a fruit parfait. We settled for the caramelized banana pancakes, vanilla crepes and the shokupan French toast.
I especially loved the vanilla crepes with passion fruit crème anglaise and fresh berries. The flavors were delicate and the combination innovative. I can’t wait to visit Tatami again so I can try either the roasted pumpkin ginger pancakes or the parfait.
Tatami’s an impressive eatery that has so much potential. I think there’s room for improvement when it comes to service, but the food is always delicious and beautifully presented. I hope they keep this set brunch menu, it solves the usual brunch conundrum of “to egg or to pancake?” by allowing you to have both!
If the pictures made you hungry click here for the map and get thee to Tatami!
*All the photos in this post were made available to me by Noaf Hussain. Thank you, Noaf!