We were invited to Archipelago‘s Media Preview Archipelago, where we sampled 11 or 12 different signature items that Chef Hisanobu Osaka will be serving at his new restaurant. These were served as hors d’oeuvres so it’s hard to say what it would be like to eat at the restaurant, but I hope the kitchen finds their rhythm because a staff of 8 or more (just kitchen) wasn’t able to pump out food at a reasonable pace. The packed crowd seemed content without getting much food, loading up on free wine and champagne, but Lon and I, not big drinkers, found ourselves standing around bored most of the time. We were pretty aggressive about snagging pieces as they came out of the open kitchen, but after an hour, we gave up and left. (Sadly, we missed dessert.)

Since I still have to finish packing (leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning), I’m going to breeze through these: The Snow Crab Salad was fresh and the Cumin Tuile was a nice touch. The cumin didn’t add as much flavor as it did an aroma that filled your olphactory glands.

Crab Salad spoons

Lon had a rubbery piece of Saikoro Steak and while my piece was more tender, neither had much flavor.


The Tomato, Miso Mozzarella, Hearts of Palm sounded so interesting but we couldn’t taste any miso so it tasted rather standard.
Tomato and Miso Mozarella 2

We both enjoyed the Cherry Tomato and Sea Eel. Perfectly cooked, tender eel, with some herbed oil is simple yet hits the spot.
tomato and eel

As I grabbed a piece of the Shrimp and Fluke, my tomatoes fell off and without them the rest had no flavor, not even seasoned. Lon had a piece with the tomatoes and it was one of his favorites so I guess I really lost out on that one and it was pretty impossible to get another piece.

Shrimp and Fluke

The Smoked Salmon Potato Crepe should be called Smoked Salmon Potato Pancake. There is a big difference in texture. It was very tender and executed well, yet I’m not that interested in it.

Salmon and potato crepe

The description of the Chawanmushi was so intriguing, served with a spicy curry filled ravioli and some type of risotto, but it failed. We were told to break the ravioli so that the curry could be spread around but the ravioli was so hard, neither of us could break it. Lon didn’t even want to finish his.

egg custard and ravioli

The Fried Fish were fresh and tender but needed a flavor.
fried fish

The Bonito Tartlet and the Seared Tuna Tartlet were my favorites. The first was a little smoky; the second was fat and juicy. Both sat on flaky puff pastry.
Bonito Tartlet

The Foie Gras was skewered with Fig Mousse served with Chicken Consomme Chasers.

foie set up

The foie gras and fig combination is a classic that works well. The mousse textures lightened it up nicely.

The Chicken Consomme puts on a show as it heats up and gets infused with rosemary, thyme, and espresso beans (stored in the top compartment). It is then poured in the little cups that already have a bit of pea puree in them. I enjoyed this part too but couldn’t really see the connection between the foie and it’s chaser.
Chicken Consomme contraption

We left rather un-impressed, but again, events like these are not indicative of what a restaurant experience would be.
posted by jessica at 10:40 PM Filed under Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.