I’ve read about Bushi-Tei in 2007 when they were a one-star Michelin recipient and their famous Japanese Toto toilet. We were greeted by an older gentlemen who was gracious and soft spoken. The large communal table made from wood imported from Japan commands the room’s attention.
My table setting included heavy modern designed spoon, fork, knife and a rustic hand craved-looking organic chopsticks, all of the utensils perched on a stand. I ordered a $4.75 (no refill) Ceylon, orange peel and ginger ice tea because it sounded like a unique combination but it was masked by the orange citrus.
The architectural shaped bread with brown rice, wafer thin with seaweed and room temperature butter was hearty with small bits of crackling rice. The amuse of the day with an adorable tuna sandwich made with the same bread and toasted.
The meal began harmoniously with a big plate of $18 Chrysanthemum leaf, papaya, bacon, ginger cream and curry oil salad. The leaves were coated with the right amount of dressing, a lot of lobster meat and the smokiness of the bacon infused throughout the salad. This is my first time eating Chrysanthemum leaf and it was interesting, a mixed of arugula and perilla taste and texture wise.
The $12 langoustine frito caught my eye since it rarely seen on a menu and one of my favorite crustaceans to make at home: split lengthwise, filled with a garlic compound butter and baked to a nutty aroma.
The langoustine frito had a spongy crust served with romesco and fine herb aioli. I like the attempt but it felt like I was eating a lot of spongy oily dough without much of the ocean sweetness scent.
The star of the night was the $20 Foie gras, kabocha pot de crème, pistachio, red onion marmalade. The foie gras was a good 2-3 oz size, a really nice sear and submerged in a pumpkin custard and the sticky sweetness of the onion marmalade brushed on top. I really like the motion of digging my spoon deep into the bowl to extract the heavenly silky foie gras. I was insanely in love.
A nice dish after the rich foie gras was the $20 Miso-marinated wagyu beef, upland cress, apple, fennel, French blue cheese. The thinly, very marbled wagyu beef had a sheen from the miso marinate and wrapped like an eggroll with fresh vegetables and julienne apples for crunch and tartness. The chef placed a smidge of blue cheese on top for a peck on the tongue, not too much to over take the meat. A welcomed refreshing plate to add onto dinner.
All of our appetizers ranged from good to outstanding and I was expecting a firework main course. The $28 Day boat sea scallop, saffron Yukon potato chowder, pop over read really well on paper and a fun idea. However, when scallops are over cooked and without a nice brown crust it was hard to eat. The scallops were rubbery and didn’t feel alive, although with grilled marks on one side it didn’t have the smokiness of a crust.
We ended the night with the $6 Black sesame seed blancmange with pineapple salsa, coconut milk reduction, as I’m a huge fan of black sesame anything. A pudding with a very smooth texture of fragrant black sesame. The pineapple salsa has tiny tiny bits of jalapenos adding an exciting spark to the dessert.
Along with the check a plate of Mignardises included almond cake and chocolate truffles. A very much appreciated gesture from Bushi-tei. The tab with the gift certificate, the required 18% gratuity and tax came out to $80, not bad for a causal fine-dining meal.
P.S. I really love the Opentable 1000 points incentive as I’m half way to 10,000 points to redeem my $100 certificate which I plan to use on Cyrus!
1638 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115