Dine and Dashi

2009.Apr.23 Thursday · 1 comment

in Restaurants

“Most of us believe in the platonic ideal of cooking, of a classic, “correct” way to prepare dishes. (Japanese cuisine takes this notion to an extreme.) As a result, we abdicate our own palates and give permission to someone else to tell us what’s good and what isn’t. This is very bad. There are many ways to prepare a dish, but only we ourselves determine whether it suits our palates. If you like your dishes slightly saltier, slightly sweeter, with more umami, with more tang, with hints of bitterness, whatever, then you should cook with those notions in mind. The only “right” way to cook is the way that produces the greatest joy for you.”

– Eric Gower, Better and Easier Cooking

Buenos Aires – It’s been several years since I first went to and reviewed Dashi, in Palermo Viejo, and while I’ve been back a couple of times, it never really became a favorite spot. It happened I was in Palermo Chico last week, wandering about on some errands, and decided to stop in at their Botánico branch, as they call it, being relatively near to the Botanical Gardens. The spot, at Salguero 2643, consists of two side by side spaces, the one on the left much the same as the first place I’d reviewed, the one on the right, open, I gather, only for dinner, is a kosher sushi bar (presumeably beyond various inspections, purifications and benedictions, the biggest change is that they simply don’t serve shellfish). I was in recovery mode from the great taco crawl and wanted to keep things light. [Both locations closed.]

Spinach Goma-ae
I started off with a spinach goma-ae, the latter referring to a “sesame dressing” – typically a mix of ground sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, and a splash of dashi, or bonito stock. The presentation was cute with pressed logs of chopped spinach sitting atop a small salad, the sauce a bit too heavy on the sugar. The biggest problem was that the sauce dish and the salad dish are of one piece, and with no spoon, you’re left either dipping each bite into the gloppy paste, and losing much of it into the depths, or, wildly flicking blobs of it onto the salad with your chopsticks. Overall tasty, if sweet.

Dashi - trio of maki
Decided on a trio of half makis – one nice thing about Dashi is that all of the rolls are available in either full size or half size, and the half size prices really are half of the full size price – no upcharge. I ordered the two types of vegetable rolls – both quite tasty – plus a crab and avocado roll, also quite good. Still, happy with the place, not my favorite but good, and not overly expensive.

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