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Oct 26, 2007 02:57 PM

Ankimo at Kiriko...not so much.

Nothing wrong with it at all, just not my favorite. It was served cold and had the consistency of pate, I prefer warm pieces sliced from the lobe like Zo's and Echigo's. Having eaten in all three restaurants this week (closest I'm ever going to get to a side-by-side comparison), I can safely say that Zo is still my top pick for ankimo.

My omakase lunch at Kiriko today was quite good, although I'm not in a huge rush to go back. The quality of the fish was stellar as always, but I prefer warm rice. It just makes such a huge difference to me. I had about a dozen different nigiri, including a couple I had never tried before, like barracuda and bonito (both excellent). The absolute highlight of the meal was the house-smoked salmon, easily one of the most sublime pieces of fish I've had recently. I would go back for that alone. Uni, seared halibut, scallops and toro were all wonderful too.

Lunch omakase also includes a blue crab handroll, miso soup and a salad all for a very reasonable $32. It is a LOT of food and I'm still stuffed 2 hours later. Very good value for such quality fish.

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  1. Boo:
    "Having eaten in all three restaurants this week (closest I'm ever going to get to a side-by-side comparison)"
    We appreciate the sacrifices you are making for chow-houndom

    ; )


    1 Reply
    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

      Yes, such a hard slog! It wasn't intentional, it just worked out that way somehow. I'd rate them 1. Zo, 2. Echigo, 3. Kiriko, to my personal taste.

    2. It should be noted that most places do ankimo cold and Zo was the first time I've had it steamed. I actually prefer the traditional method of serving ankimo. I find that you lose much of the flavor (fat) and texture when it's steamed like that. It's like the time when I came home in shock and horror when I discovered that my mother had steamed half a lobe of foie gras that I had purchased a few days before. It was pretty much an ill defined mass in a puddle of oil.

      I'm waiting for someone to do torched ankimo. Seared outside but still with the velvety texture inside. It seems so painfully obvious. Maybe I can convince Keizo or Mori on my next visit.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        Torched ankimo sounds like a fabulous idea, I'd be first in line to try it! I've always enjoyed it cold but now prefer it warm after eating it at Zo.

        1. re: hrhboo

          When that craze hits, remember you heard it here first!

        2. re: Porthos

          though i'm not crazy about sasabune they do make a grilled monkfish liver.

          1. re: epop

            Epop. Nothing, could get me back to Sasabune. I've had enough brown sauce nigiri to last me a lifetime.

            1. re: Porthos

              i agree with you on that one, porthos. it doesn't interest me at all.

          2. re: Porthos

            FYI, all ankimo is steamed. That's how it's prepared (it ain't eaten raw). Similarly, foie gras is almost always cooked, whether poached (e.g. torchon), seared or otherwise (though patina used to serve frozen raw foie). I've never heard of it being steamed, but i suppose it's possible (though without knowing what you're doing, you'd probably end up with poor Porthos' ill defined mass in a puddle of oil).

            one difference between foie and ankimo, though, is that foie can be and often is seared medium-rare. trust me, however, when i tell you that you do NOT want to eat fish liver medium rare. it will stink and taste as fishy and badly as it sounds. The steaming process is designed to get rid of that funk... i suppose, if you had a firm liver (i prefer it to be really silky), you could theoretically slice it, dredge the slices in flour, and sear it on a hot pan like foie...

            I personally prefer it served traditionally - cold with ponzu, daikon and green onion. not a huge fan of the warm style with miso that they do at Echigo or Zo.

          3. That's too bad to hear about the ankimo.

            Like Porthos, I think I'm thinking I would probably prefer ankimo on the cold side.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              It's not the temperature that I mind, it's that it's pureed, shaped into a log and sliced into rounds. I prefer the natural shape and texture to the more common paste-like consistency.

              1. re: hrhboo

                As bert mentioned, I know the ankimo is first steamed then served cooled. I don't think it's pureed because the lobe isn't uniform in color. There's patches of orange and lines of white and some areas of brown. I had assumed that Keizo was taking this form and then steaming it. It's occured to me that he is probably steaming the monkfish liver fresh, without it first going through the traditional preparation.

                To clarify the "torched ankimo" concept, I had meant torching the traditional prep (after cooling) so the outside is crispy and the inside is still cold/slightly warm and not just torching raw monkfish liver. I agree, that raw monkfish liver would probably be vile...although maybe it isn't?

                Make your own ankimo:


                1. re: Porthos

                  You're right, it isn't pureed. More chopped up and formed into a "sausage".

            2. I first fell in love with ankimo at Sushi Ike, although it's been so long that I forget whether it was hot or cold! I just remember the texture, quiveringly tender - it took a lot of convincing for me to believe that it was actually fish liver and not some kind of custard.