Keiichi in Denton.
Hi folks. I recently moved to Denton, and have been searching for good places to eat here. I read a raving review about Keiichi on guidelive, and wanted to know if any of you has frequented it before? If so what are your thoughts. I would like to give it a try, hoping to make it a local fave if its true, but i would like to hear what the rest of you think.
The place is still pretty new and I'd like to check it out as well, it sounds very good. The drive from Dallas is the main thing holding me back.
If anyone here is a regular, I'd venture a guess that the relationship must span back to when Keiichi-san worked at the Arcodoro in Houston.
air. i did some research after not getting answers from anyone. Used google, and saw some very good reviews for Keiichi. From what i read Keiichis is by reservations only restaurant. I plan on visiting it within the next few weeks, and will post back with my review. From what i read, i think i ll end up becoming a regular, but i need to sample the goods before saying anymore.
I went this past Friday (Dec 12th) and had omakase. Keiichi was playful with texture presentation. A tofu that was silky smooth sitting atop a sweet mirin/rice wine sauce (I think) with pieces of crab that served as the topping. The tofu literally melted in your mouth while you chewed pieces of the crabmeat. Another dish that impressed me was the steamed cod dish with some sort of yam concoction. I originally thought the white, grainy/flaky substance was jook (rice porridge), but the chef informed me it was yam instead. Blew me away. I asked how he made it, but I had a hard time hearing what was said. Mackerel, one of my favorite fish cooked, came out nigiri. It was perfect. The fish was so fresh that the oiliness of the fish hadn't given way to a slimy/fishy odor. The sashimi plate is among the freshest available in Dallas. And like Bill Addison, it jangles my mind to see pasta Bolognese being served over the sushi counter...and it looked heavenly. Also saw a perfectly cooked Angus Ribeye and some lamb chops. I already have reservations booked for next week when my sister gets in from NYC. When I told her about my meal along with the $85 price tag of my omakase meal, she demanded we go. I think the omakase price is different night to night, but he stated usually it hovers around $70. After my second meal there, I will probably book a third reservation for a pasta night. I believe those dishes are $16, but I might be wrong. Is Keeichi worth a trip to Denton? An emphatic, "hell yeah" is the answer. I had a conversation with a gentleman there that stated Yutaka, Teiichi, and some of the other top sushi chefs in Dallas go there as well.
My second visit reminded me that I missed some other highlights. Scallops nigiri that were blowtorched to realease its aroma, made for a scallop unlike I have ever tasted. I have had many scallops cooked, sashimi, nigiri, and ceviche, but I have never tasted scallops the way they tasted after being lightly singed. Unfortunately, I can't begin to describe the flavor and texture of the blowtorched scallop...It would be injustice to the dish for me to try to describe it. The mackerel again was another highlight. It even drew praise from my sister who is a veteran of sushi dining. Of the sashimi we tried, the kampachi (Japanese), was my favorite. Buttery and smooth, the kampachi melted in your mouth. The uni was silky smooth and sweet. San Diego uni is supposedly some of the best available right now and he has it.
We had the fortune to be the last patrons at the sushi bar last night, so we were able to pick his brain a bit regarding his dishes, where he gets some of his ingredients, and how he came to be in an Italian kitchen. Even got to meet his uncle who kept us laughing long after the sake had dried up. Ahhhh. Good times, good times.
I finally made it out to Keiichi last saturday. My meal budget has been focused on restaurant week lately, so I went for Italian for this dinner and it's an amazing bang for the buck.
I had two dishes, kinoko pasta and tiramisu. The kinoko pasta is spaghetti with a heaping mound of mushrooms, cream sauce, and a little pepper drizzled on top. This plate could have easily fed two. I could smell the sauce as the dish was brought to me; it was very thick and had a cheesy taste with a very tiny hint of butter and I really liked that it wasn't greasy or heavy. The spaghetti was cooked perfectly al dente, a little chewy and not too tough nor soft. Kei-san said the sauce was made out of a very good cheese, unfortunately I had a hard time hearing his response as it had gotten crowded and the restaurant was loud. I also admit I'm not the most knowledgable when it comes to mushrooms so I can't speak as to what kind came with the dish.
The tiramisu was massive, and came with a sliced strawberry over a mound of light,airy cream. Overall it was rich but not oversweetened, and I thought the soggy bottom layer was pleasant. An intense milk chocolate flavor would kick in every couple bites while the coffee flavor was subtle. I'm not a fan of the typical overwhelming alcohol taste so I really liked that this tiramisu had none of it!
I strongly advise calling ahead as there is very limited seating space so diners tend to stick around because it's quite an enjoyable experience one you get good conversations going. The menu also changes every day based on fish availability as well as the pasta he makes. I also saw someone order the octopus carpaccio and it was a work of art, almost too beautiful to eat. I look forward to having some of his lasagna as well as doing omakase.