Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fat Rice - Kill Grill Hauted Izakaya Halloween Dinner

It has taken me a few weeks to put up, but I went to a themed Halloween dinner at Fat Rice this Halloween.  Every time I have gone there, I have really liked Fat Rice.  I also like themed dinners and Halloween can be one of the most creative.  This year, they dressed up the restaurant (and themselves) to go with a Kill Bill theme, calling their restaurant Kill Grill, A Haunted Izakaya.  I am a fan of Quentin Tarantino's movies, but the Kill Bills were my least favorite.  I did, however, think that it would make a great theme, so I decided to check it out.  As Fat Rice is a Macanese restaurant, it wasn't a huge stretch to go for a Japanese theme, about the only thing they did to the restaurant was to add a few weapons hanging on the walls.  The staff also dressed as various characters in the movie which was pretty cool.  At our table setting, we were given a menu and a handwritten kill list for the characters that were killed.  All of the courses were matched to the individual killed.  Kill Bill was a very gruesome movie and between that and the fact that it was Halloween, I expected the dishes to have a bit of a macabre look to them.  I was not disappointed when our Amuse Bouche came out.  It was billed as a Bloody Eyeball, which is what it looked like, but consisted of a Poached Onion with Lychee and Beet Juice.  It was very gruesome looking, but it did taste good. 

All of our courses were accompanied by drinks which most of the time, came out first.    The first course/kill was Budd and our first drink was called Budd's Shift Drink and was actually a spin on a Boilermaker with a shot of Whiskey, a Pickleback, and a Tiger Lager.  I am not a huge fan of drinking a shot of straight whiskey but the pickleback helped it go down and the Tiger is a light Asian Lager.  For our first course, we were served Yakitori, or skewers, with Tongue (Chicken), Ears (Mushrooms), Finger (Korean Finger Pepper), and Blood (More Beet Juice).  Again it did look pretty gruesome, but they were all pretty good.  The pepper was of the non-hot variety and while it looked like a finger on a stick, it tasted similar to a grilled green pepper.  The mushrooms were like little bites of wonderfulness. and while the chicken had the general shape of a tongue, it still tasted and looked like chicken.

After Budd was Elle Driver.  The drink was called Miserable Old Fool and the course was Nigiri.  The drink was a combination of Sake, Peach Liqueur, Lemon, and Sriracha.  I am generally not a fan of sake or peach liqueur on their own, but their combination. along with the lemon and sriracha, mediated the worst influences of the other.  It wasn't too bad, but it probably isn't going to be drinking on a regular basis.  The Nigiri was interesting and did some things that I hadn't previously seen in sushi.  The first was a Torched Pork Fat Furoso, essentially bacon on a bed of rice.  It was rich and flavorful, and despite the general unhealthiness of it, I would definitely have it again.  Then there was the Charlie Brown Pepperoni Pizza which I will guess they gave the name because it was small and had only a couple of pepperonis on a layer of cheese, rice, and tomato.  I'm not sure how it held together, but it was definitely a pizza on rice and I liked it.  We then had what was called Fish Entrails.  I am not sure what this was, it did not taste fishy, and it was served with a rice cracker with the seaweed rolled rice topped with sesame and served on the side.

When Elle was dispatched with, we continued to Bill for which we were served a drink called Blood and Guts and an Exploding Heart Bun.  The drink was the simple part of this as it was Beet Vodka and Virtue Offalgood Cider (a collaboration between Virtue Cider and Chris Cosentino, a chef who knows much about offal, that contains nothing but apples and wild yeast).  Because of the difference in densities, the vodka floated on top, giving it a two tone color, which also had a very nice head.  The exploding heart bun reminded me of a large round pastie.  It was firm and had a crusty exterior, but it did sort of explode when it was cut open.  It had Five Points (Star Anise) with Chicken, Mushrooms, Glass Noodle, Carrots, Almonds and was also seasoned with Ginger and Cinnamon.  It was very good and was definitely my favorite course up to that point.  (Spoiler:  It ended up being my favorite course of the meal).
We continued to O-Ren Ishii with a Poisoned Fish Head and a glass of wine, Vina Mein Ribeiro, 2014 (that I forgot to photograph).  The poisoned fish head, though, I definitely remembered to photograph.  Yes, that is a real fish head served whole.  Thankfully, the eyes were removed.  In the mouth of the fish were a couple of Sticky Rice Balls with a ribbon of Carrot and Fennel.  We were told not to eat the tongue, but that wasn't a huge issue.  They also told us that most of the meat was around the cheeks and collar.  We were also given a heaping bowl of rice to go with the fish head.  I will say that the rice was a heck of a lot easier to eat than was the fish head.  Having said that, the fish head actually did taste good (initially) and I ate more than many of the people I was sitting around.  I even ate the brain which I really didn't plan on or really think about.  The flavor wasn't significantly different than was the rest of the fish, but it was much creamier.  After eating the fish head for a few minutes, we started getting a numbness in our lips and tongue.  This freaked out some of the diners and we were told that this was the poison on the fish head before telling us that it was Szechuan Peppercorns which I was guessing.  I had never had Szechuan Peppercorns, but I had read about them and found it a very intriguing experience.

The fish head was our last savory course and we finished our dinner/murder spree with Vernita Green.  The drink looked interesting, but the dessert looked a little disappointing.  The drink was called Tea Time for Vernita and contained Ninja (an energy drink), 1/2 and 1/2, Lemon, Angostura Amaro, and Black Tea served in a tea cup.  It tasted like Earl Gray with cream and a little alcohol and I enjoyed it.  I did just sip it initially which was a good thing, because unbeknownst to me, I was going to need it.  Dessert looked pretty unassuming and frankly pretty underwhelming.  It was however named Kaboom!  Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold so I was a little on my guard.  Our dessert came out in a cereal bowl and looked for all the world like a bowl of Fruit Loops.  The cereal tasted like what it looked like, but instead of using milk, it used yogurt that was a little spicy.  I was pretty underwhelmed until I came across a gelee a few bites in.  It tasted sweet at first, but very quickly exploded to something very hot.  It turned out to be a Lychee Gelee with a drop of Ghost Pepper and you could definitely tell when diners came across it.  There was a look of terror and shock and you could see several people wondering whether they should eat it.  The kitchen was watching the dining room and had a laugh when diners found the gelee.  Luckily, while it was pretty hot, the heat dissipated quickly.  It was a surprising end to a good and very creative meal.  I was glad I came and really enjoyed the food, the staff and my fellow diners.  As a Treat for the Tricks that the restaurant played, they gave us a Chinese take out box filled with a Sesame Cookie, a Crispy Rice Treat, and several hard candies.  I'm glad I came, it was a lot of fun, and I will definitely return.            

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