Nasime Japanese Restaurant – Old Town, Alexandria, VA

I won’t beat around the bush. One of the best Japanese restaurants I’ve ever been to in the States. Just go to Nasime and get fed, if you love good food, if you’d rather pay a little more for better quality food than go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and eat lots of meh food, if you are somewhat into Japanese food, and if raw fish doesn’t scare you!

Make a reservation. The chef, Yuh Shimomura, prepares food from scratch and he will satisfy your palate with a five course menu, which changes on a daily basis. You don’t choose what to eat; you eat what’s given to you: omakase.

Today’s first course: fried Chilean seabass with clam sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly – nice and juicy. The clam sauce, which, by the way, I had never tasted anywhere before, added just the right amount of saltiness to this beautiful dish.
Today’s second course: otsukuri (sashimi). No frills; just fresh fish nicely cut and served. Boston mackerel was my favorite. Even if you are just used to eating raw fish on a thing of rice and this “just the fish” sashimi dish intimidates you, please give it a try. With just a little bit of soy sauce and wasabi, you can totally appreciate different flavors of different fish! Yum❤️

Today’s third course: pork tenderloin with soy ginger sauce and root vegetables. Pork, soy ginger and root vegetables – it sounds like a typical dish any Asian restaurant would have. That’s why it stood out more, IMO. Feel the difference!

Today’s fourth course: fresh bamboo shoot okowa. Okowa is a sticky rice dish mixed and cooked with other ingredients. Uni (sea urchin) and fish roe over rice may sound too exotic, I know. What the heck is sea urchin anyway, right? 😉 This combination of creaminess, stickiness, briny ocean taste with that fish eggs popping in your mouth…. Mmmmm…. The green garnish on top is called shiso, which has a very refreshing, distinct aroma.

The last course: sesame and kinako ice cream! Kinako is roasted soybean flour, which you may have seen sprinkled on top of mochi. Hubby and I both agree that it’s the best ice cream that we’ve ever had! Pure foodgasm..!! Ground black sesame seeds gave this ice cream the out-of-this-world taste and texture. Gosh, I wish I could’ve bought 10 gallons of it on the way out!

All in all, it was worth every penny. I can’t wait to go back and see what the chef has to offer next time!

Happy Valentine’s Day💕

Valentine’s dinner at Bistrot Royal

I had been told that we had a reservation for Valentine’s day but I did not know where we were eating until we got to Bastille in Alexandria, VA. Well, hubby made a surprise reservation for the day but it turned out that they have two locations. The one that pops on Google is a new one, which looks nice and chic, but we were trying to get to the sister restaurant, Bistrot Royal.

BISTROT ROYAL
1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tele: 703.519.9110

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For Valentine’s day, they had a prix fixe menu. While hubby’s dishes would have been more photogenic, I just took pictures of my selections to be somewhat decent at a dinner table. 🙂

The lobster bisque had surprisingly generous amount of lobster meat and an exquisite flavor. Filet mignon was still perfectly cooked while the best part was the sides: potato anna, Brussels sprouts and while mushrooms!

One thing about this visit… We were literally on top of each other. I get that restaurants need to fit as many people as possible, especially on a holiday night. However, we were 10 inches apart from other tables.

For that reason, I would like to go back to this restaurant and have a full, complete dinner experience. I am also curious about the dishes on their regular menu.

After delicious dinner time, I was given this card!

IMG_1471 You would give up your phone for me? You must REALLY like me! 😉 Hope you all had a scrumptious Valentine’s day!

[Restaurant Review] Brabo Tasting Room – Alexandria, VA

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▣ Location: 1600 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314

▣ Tel: 703-894-3440

▣ American, Belgian

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of December 23, 2012) – Click for more info!

Literally two blocks from work, this small restaurant called Brabo Tasting Room is attracting a lot of people who visit Old Town, Alexandria, VA. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of this place until my friend mentioned it the other day. It is right next to BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, which is supposed to be another great dining option. We weren’t really properly dressed that night so we went for this rather “casual” option at Brabo Tasting Room. When you walk into this “old” building, their modern looking kitchen with the brick oven welcomes you.

Brabo_Mussels2So, what do they offer? Their menu isn’t that complicated. We got “Boston Bibb Lettuce” salad, “Local Tomato Bisque” and “Classic” mussels. One great thing about this place is that it’s really “share-friendly” 😉 As you’ve noticed, some people just LOVE to order a bunch of different dishes and share everything. That’s me! Anyway, we were going to share all the dishes and didn’t really say that to our waiter but when they brought out the salad, they nicely plated it on two separte plates for us! That’s called some great service!

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Every bite on the plate tasted so fresh! Not to mention the perfectly cooked beets, even the lettuce itself tasted so delicioius. It was tossed with perfect amount of their mustard vinaigrette.

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Tomato bisque was incredible! To me, most soups here in the States are a little too salty. However, this one was perfectly seasoned with great basil aroma and a nice taste of Crème fraîche.

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Mussels! Where do I even start? As a big fan of all kinds of seafood, I don’t even need sauce or seasoning for mussels usually. I sometimes just boil them in water with a couple piece of jalapenos. This dish was prepared in white wine, garlic and shallots. Mussels were fantabulous but the leftover broth…. O.M.G. But for all the other people in the restaurant, I would’ve just drunk the broth and licked the bowl and this ain’t joke! When they brought out empty bowls for us (because we were going to share), they were nicely heated so our mussels didn’t get cold!

That was another thing about this place. Even though it kind of looked like a small, quite casual place, they offered a top notch service. This is the kind of restaurant where you feel very well-fed and perfectly-treated when you walk out. I even liked their bathroom! 🙂

They don’t take reservations so show up when you feel like it!

P.S. I forgot to mention but their beers are known to be very good too. Belgian beer, duh! I am not much of a drinker so I didn’t drink anything but it’s worth the trip for that too!