Nodoguro, Portland, OR., 10/14/17

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entrance

Nodoguro is a small place where Chef Ryan Roadhouse has served cuisine inspired by Japanese cooking for 3 years.  They changed locations about a year and a half ago.  It is a tasting menu only and reservations are by pre-purchase tickets.  They have a regular tasting menu as well as theme based tastings and a SupaHardcore menu, which we were lucky enough to snag reservations for, but each night there is just one tasting served.   The tasting menus change depending on what chef finds freshest and best to work with it, thus we were not surprised to meet some other diners who had been to the place numerous times.  The set up is a U-shaped wooden bar that seats about 16 with a prep table in the middle and a door adjoining to the major part of the kitchen.  

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looking inside
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Frankie looked inside

In the back there is a room with lounge type furniture, a bar and lots of interesting decorative items.  The main dining room is well lit but still very intimate due to the small number of guests and the chef and his lovely wife, Elena distributing and explaining the courses as they come out.  It is casual and relaxed, just like having dinner in their house.  We were especially excited as the Chef had purchased a large piece of A5 Kuroge (Japanese Wagyu) beef ribeye from Kagoshima to feature that evening.

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guests ready
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prep area with door to kitchen
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interior
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interior
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A5 Kuroge ribeye from Kagoshima
bar set up
bar set up

 

The tasting started with Washington oysters seasoned with onions and herbs.  They were almost sweet with a really fun texture.  Delicious.

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Oysters
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sparkler

 

Japanese eggplant was served  with charred red pepper, mizuna and a ginger dashi sauce.  The sauce was key in enhancing the flavor of the pepper and eggplant pieces.  Another delicious offering.

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Japanese eggplant, charred red pepper in ginger dashi

 

Amberjack  with shiso, onions and seasoned with apricot soy was another tasty one.

Amberjack with shiso, apricot soy and onion
Amberjack with shiso, apricot soy and onion
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Frankie wanted to nap on the fireplace

 

Chanterelles and crab  were served under rice topped with fish eggs.  The rice was great on its own but mixed with the eggs it soared to another dimension.  The different textures added even more to this wonderful dish.

Crab, chantererelles and rice
Crab, chanterelles and rice
closer
closer
underneath
underneath

 

Next was an array of a half dozen taste bits.  Tomato was with wasabi (sweet and delicious), beef tartar was with gel and caviar (YUM!),  duck was with yuzu and marinated nettle (little spicy and nice),  fig with miso milk and pinenuts (yummy with a wonderful strong fig flavor without it being mushy), octopus with avocado and Japanese turnip (very nice), and a candied walnut finished out the tray (toasted and simply amazing).

(Clockwise starting at 12:00): beef tartar with gel and caviar; duck wtih yuzu and marinated nettle; fig with miso milk and pinenuts; octopus with avocao and Japanese turnip; tomato with wasabi; (center) candied walnut
(Clockwise starting at 12:00): A5 beef tartar with gel and caviar; duck wtih yuzu and marinated nettle; fig with miso milk and pinenuts; octopus with avocado and Japanese turnip; tomato with wasabi; (center) candied walnut
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tomato and walnut closer
duck with nettle closer
duck with nettle closer
Tartar with gel and caviar closer
Tartar with gel and caviar closer
Frankie checked for catnip
Frankie checked for catnip

 

Monkfish liver was poached with seaweed and served with garlic chives and parsnip chips.  This was unlike any monkfish liver I’ve had.  For the first time I could understand why it is called “foie gras of the sea”.  The liver had an amazing texture and taste.  An outstanding course.

Ankimo: Monkfish liver with parsnip, yolk and garlic chives
Ankimo: Monkfish liver with parsnip, yolk and garlic chives

 

Seared A5 was served with ginger blossom and grated daikon.  Yum x3 here!  Searing absolutely brought out the fine flavor of this terrific beef.  Like nothing else – so wonderful and silky.  If butter was meat…

Seared A5 beef with daikon, kosho, ponzu and myoga
Seared A5 beef with daikon, kosho, ponzu and myoga
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closer
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another angle
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Frankie played on the ice bucket

 

An egg custard was dashi sauce with buckwheat.  It was savory and very nice.

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presentation
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Chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard) with crab, mitsu leaf, soba and dashi sauce
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Frankie warmed herself on the little pot

 

Poached potatoes were served with dried fish roe (bottarga), baby arugula and millet.  The potatoes were soft and creamy but still had just the right amount of firmness.  It was a nice combination of flavors.

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Potato, arugula, bottarga and tosa spray
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from the side
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Lots of preparation

 

Everyone was given a dish of pickled ginger to eat as desired with the next round of courses and a warm wet cloth to wipe the hands before more eating.

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pickled ginger
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Warm wet cloth
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Frankie watched the action

 

Japanese Sea bream was served with skin on and Japanese chilies.

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Japanese sea bream
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from the top
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chef makes each individually

 

Santa Barbara supplied the sea urchin that was served on top of rice with wasabi.

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Santa Barbara supa uni on rice with wasabi
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from the top

 

A scallop from northern Japan was way good with a mild texture served on the wonderful sushi rice.

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Miyagi sea scallop
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closer
Frankie studied a book
Frankie studied a book

 

Salmon roe was next on the rice with black cod which had a bit of a smoked taste.

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Salmon roe with rice and black cod
Frankie gave it a sniff
Frankie gave it a sniff
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closer

 

Amberjack was with aged soy sauce and rice.

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Kanpachi (Amberjack) with aged soy
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from the side

 

Porcini was on rice and absolutely wonderful.

Porcini and rice
Porcini and rice
closer
closer
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Frankie found a plant

 

An older style of sushi was for the wild Japanese mackerel served with kelp heart.  Really fresh and not strong as mackerel often is – a nice course.

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presentation
Saba (mackerel) from Nagasaki
Saba (mackerel) from Nagasaki

 

The scrumptious Waygu beef had been seared over Japanese charcoal and then served with onion and rice.   Delicious.

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beginning
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closer
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Beef with negi and egg sauce
closer
closer
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mixed up

 

Creamy scallop and mushroom miso soup tasted almost of mayonaisse but was lovely.

Frankie tried to guess what was in this one
Frankie tried to guess what was in this one
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Scallop and shitake (with miso soup)
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from the top
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from the side
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miso soup

 

Pan roasted green tea finished the meal.

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back room

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Frankie looked for other cats
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back room
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Chef Ryan Roadhouse and Frankie

 

 

 

 

 

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