Mikasa at Trident Tech, N Chs.
Future DIL goes to Trident, and happened upon the menu for the Culinary School's dining room, Mikasa. Looks amazing, and amazingly cheap. We've had great experiences in the past with culinary schools' restaurants, so has anyone tried this one? Realizing full well it's in North Charleston, and off most beaten tracks, and only serves very limited lunches.
My husband teaches at Trident (not at the Culinary school). We had lunch there last year. The food was good and comfortably priced. The dining room is modern and very interesting. Our server was a young gal who was just learning how to serve (they switch roles so they can learn every aspect of restaurant life). Her mentor was teaching her the art of table-side caesar salad. She did fairly well with it (too much anchovy for my tastes.) I don't recall what else I ate, but do remember being generally pleased and fondingly recall my husband gushing about his food. About 8 years ago we also ate at the culinary school in Burlington, Vermont. Had a real positive experience there as well. I would recommend eating at these schools not only for the food, but also to help support the schools and keep up the training of good chefs..
Finally went today. Sadly, this is the final week for spring semester, but they will resume in the summer.
Dining room was well filled, is spacious and modern. Mixed clientele, some larger parties, a few blue hairs, and one lady with an outrageous Southern go to church hat. Thumbs up for the bathrooms! On one wall, you see the students on a huge screen TV preparing the food, on the other, you can watch students practicing things like knife skills through a window. Very nicely equipped, very clean.
Service is at noon, 12:15 and 12.30. We spent a bit over an hour, and got our three selections (too bad they limit it to three, although son had two apps and a main course -- I think he would have been happier with three apps and dessert). No liquor, just tea, coffee and water. No credit cards. Cash or check with ID. No tips, gratuities go for a student fund. And I don't believe there was tax on it either.
Drinks are $1. Apps and salads are $4. Mains are $8 and dessert $3. Our bill for three was $50. And what did we get?
Started with a duck confit egg roll with apricot soy dipping sauce, and a citrus and aragula salad. Very nice, worked well with the sauce. Nice crunchy texture, a bit of bite from the greens.
Oyster stew. Generously laden with three huge plump and barely warmed oysters in a creamy, potato, leek and smoky sausage broth. I needed salt and pepper on it. Hard to make without it being cloying, this was very good but could have been warmer. Son had the same as his second course. Says with benne seeds, but I don't recall those.
Chicken Satay. Perfectly grilled chicken strips, a zippy peanut sauce, with a hint of curry?
Mixed salad, nice dressing, intelligent greens.
Hanger steak with bearnaise, fingerling potatoes, mixed vegetables. Perfect bearnaise. Steak is usually served medium, DIL wanted as well done as possible, came out as ordered and was remarkably good.
Tuna loin, seared, huge portion. With collards, and pepper marmalade. Excellent, nice contrast with the collards.
Orechietti pasta, with a very generous amount of large perfectly cooked shrimp. Broccoli (just a tad too soft for me), a thickish tomato broth -- pasta was just al dente.
Dessert -- a fab mascarpone cheesecake, with hazelnut crust, pools of mango and raspberry coulis. Big slice ... shared by all three.
Note: They do Bananas Foster and Caesar Salad table side once a day. Reserve ahead.
Service: You can tell these are cooks, not servers. A bit choppy, a bit overwhelmed, but timed courses perfectly to all arrive at the same time. Bread was refilled without asking, as was tea.
Just a really fun outing, great ingredients, as is usual at culinary school restaurants, terrific value.
Here's a link to the dining room site: you can see the very limited schedule, as well as a menu.
I called for a reservation for next week; apparently they call you back after you leave a message. Should we get to eat there, will absolutely report!