Birthday @Higoi

For my birthday earlier this month we went to an old favourite, Higoi. The restaurant is situated in the most unlikely of places, smack dab in the middle of student land sharing a street with the local Sainsbury’s, kebab shop and Ladbroke’s. It’s inconspicuous – blink and you’ll miss it as you drive by. And I kinda like it that way. It feels like a serendipitous find every time I go back. Higoi has been around for 21 years and a restaurant that has lasted this long in that particular area in the midlands has to be something special. Inside is decorated in a cosy Japanese theme, seating probably 20 at most. There’s a cute low table and cushions seating two at the front. We tried it once and it was so uncomfortable, we went back to sitting ‘Western style’ on normal chairs!

We usually go for one of their dinner courses which never fail to impress but this time we decided to splurge on their kaiseki, the taster dinner. My oh my, every dish was exquisitely prepared and presented and all of them excepting one were scrumptious. The only drawback was that the first few dishes took a while to arrive and we had to wait quite a long time in between. Obviously portion sizes were small and combined with the waiting time you’d almost feel hungry again by the time the next course came along. That speeded up towards the end though, as the chef had pretty much prepared everything by then. We didn’t end the meal feeling stuffed as we usually did after one of their dinner courses, but just full enough. Which could be a good thing. Not so good if you’re gluttons like us. Service was their usual good standard and they very nicely introduced each course to us (the saddo foodie that I am, I had to write down each one. The website doesn’t go into too many specifics).

Anyway, on to the good bits. Pardon the blurriness of some shots, I couldn’t wait to dig in!

 

Zensai: Scallops, fish roe, salmon roll

 

Suimono: Sea urchin soup

To be honest, I couldn’t differentiate between the sea urchin and the shiitake mushrooms but it was delicious nonetheless.

 

Sashimi: Raw scallops and prawns with wasabi mayo

 

Yakimono: Black cod with miso sauce

This was so sweet and melt-in-your-mouth, I wanted more!

 

Agemono: Soft shell crab and scallop tempura

So. Good.

 

Nimono: Salmon and Cucumber roll; Prawn and Octopus roll

The salmon and cucumber roll was alright, but the prawn and octopus roll was yummy.

 

Sunomono: Salmon wrapped in chinese cabbage

I think this is where the chef started to run out of ideas, pretty uninspiring tastewise, but credit for the presentation!

 

Mushimono: Prawn and sea bass

Back to high quality deliciousness!

Rice (gohan), pickles (tsukemono) and miso soup (misoshiru)

The prawn and sea bass dish was served with the above

 

Okashi: Dessert of mochi, ice-cream and dorayaki (I think)

This was good, although the dorayaki was quite dry.

The kaiseki dinner has to be ordered two days in advance and is only available from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Everything on the a la carte menu is good! My favourites are the sushi and sashimi dinner, sushi/sashimi moriawase, agedashi tofu or nasu, iro iro maki and hitsumabusi (their current special). The sashimi dinner was my first taste of raw scallop and it was sweet heaven melting in my mouth. During weekdays you can walk in without a reservation but it gets pretty busy during the weekends, so book in advance. On the plus side you can always get takeaway for a 15% discount! Check out their website.

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