I had walked by the very chi-chi Japonais many times since moving back to Chicago this February. The building it's in also houses Motel Bar, Kitsch'n and office bathrooms with super high tech Dyson hand dryers. But that's beside the point. The point is that I had walked by many times, never venturing inside because the slick design and sports cars parked out front just didn't seem like me. I had also heard stories of outrageous bills at the high end Japanese restaurant.

Well last night, I actually ended up inside Japonais for a late dinner with my best friend who was visiting from Dallas. We were 6 total and the service was nice and slow. But my fear about the price of the food was pretty much justified. Just to give you an idea on the pricing, a "Salmon Special" roll, essentially 6 small pieces of panko-crusted shrimp maki with a delicate, thin layer of salmon gently placed on top, ran about $17. It was delicious though. In fact, everything was delicious - the lobster spring rolls, the Japanese consume, the eel rolls - everything.

The Salmon Special. Or was it Special Salmon?

The star of the evening (in more ways than one) was the dessert "Coffee and Donuts". Let me describe this for you...3 fluffy cinnamon-and-sugar beignets, filled with chocolate hazelnut sauce, served next to a coffee cup filled with a green tea semifredo (like a mouse), topped with whipped cream, raspberries and a Pocky stick. It was irresistible for even me, one who would rather have a slice of Havarti than a slice of cheesecake.

Allison, such a fan of Coffee and Donuts

So was it worth it? I'd say yes, mainly because I didn't have to foot the bill and was with one of my favorite people in the world. But the next time I walk by Japonais, will I be stopping in for a bite? Until I'm a high-roller, naw.

1 comment:

Madeleine said...

THat's just too much for a roll! Tell those nouveau Japanese fusion folk that there's no need to over-charge genuine culinary adventurers - stiff those prices to people who eat Japanese in an attempt to be chic or different.