Monday, March 7, 2016

Park Restaurant

This is it. Antonio Park's famous restaurant. I had been wanting to try out Park for such a long time but, as the socially anxious person that I am, I needed an excuse to publicly spend my money in such a place and shame other people while I take pictures with my DSLR. So I decided to take out two of my favorite persons for their birthdays.

Phil and my sister happen to be both Leos and, oh great, they're already used to the fact that I shamelessly take pictures of food with a not so subtle DSLR.

So I booked a table about two weeks in advance just to make sure we wouldn't have to wait. I got there a little too early so to kill some time I bought some natto and candies at Miyamoto right next door. Finally my invitees arrived and a lovely hostess brought us to our table. When we got in we were amazed by everything our eyes would lay upon : the wooden tables with the restaurant's logo carved on them, the light fixtures, the plumbing sticking out here and there, and even the way the kitchen was laid out.

Then the bunch of ADHD kids that we are got interrupted in our contemplation because our waitress asked us if we had any question and were ready to order. We ordered some beer and then she proceeded to explain to us what the Omakase menu was that night. Unfortunately my invitees weren't too hungry so we didn't dare ordering the Omakase. Oh well, next time!

For the starters we decided to order some edamame and oysters. The oysters served that day were an arrival from Massachusetts.

Perfectly shucked, no trace of sand in the shells, plump, fresh, slightly sweet. We ate them as is or with a light squeeze of lemon.

While we were sipping on our beers and eating our appetizers we saw mister Park himself working in the kitchen! We thought to ourselves that could only be a good sign.

For the main course we ordered some sashimi and nigiri. I'll be honest with you : I don't remember what is what. Okay obviously everyone knows what salmon looks like. But I know there was some rock fish or something in there. In other words, I ate things I had never eaten before.

The fish was served with some light soy sauce, chimichurri sauce, and other dressings I can't remember either. I'm sorry guys, I was so overwhelmed with all the information that my brain simply didn't process.

So we sat there. Stared at the food and had no clue what to start with. Anyway, we dug in.

Oh. My. God. And that's just the sashimi.

Seriously everything was just so fresh and so smooth. There was a piece in particular that felt so buttery we actually asked each other "Did that fish MELT in your mouth too? It did? What the f?". It's a whole other level compared to your regular sushi joint, where the fish has been frozen and defrosted a couple of times.

After we were done with the sashimi, our tray of nigiri arrived. Once again I really can't tell you what's what because my brain stopped working when I saw what was laid in front of me. And that's nothing. I turned my head around to the other table and saw part of the Omakase menu of that night. They probably thought I was some sort of creep when they saw the drool coming out of my mouth.

Just like for the sashimi we went "Oh. My. God." each time we put something in our mouths. And I know you just read that with a dirty mind.

The tricky part though was the fish was already seasoned with a bit of soy sauce and so the more we took our time to eat (and talk) the more the rice would soak up and crumble as we would pick it up with our chopsticks. I remember going "Oh f- it" for the last piece and eating it with my fingers.

I know it doesn't seem like a lot of food for three persons, but every bite was such an experience in terms of texture and flavor and we took so much time savoring that the satiety hit us just at the right moment.

Obviously because we love each other so much and didn't feel like leaving just yet, we ordered coffees. For my part I asked for the dessert menu and ordered a chocolate and raspberry cake.

The cake was actually two small portions of velvety chocolate mousse with a coconut crumble base, covered with chocolate and topped with meringue and fresh raspberry.

Phil and Rebecca don't have a sweet tooth. But then I convinced them to try out the cake. And they hated me. They hated me because they actually found it really good and will not feel the same about desserts anymore. I can't describe what I had. It was like a magic trick on my brain.

Now that I'm reading myself over I'm realizing I'm not being very descriptive of the food I've had. I'm sorry I just can't. I swear. It's hard for me to explain with words the flavors and textures I had experienced that evening. I also ruined sushi for Phil and my sister for the rest of their lives. I mean, who wants to settle for the neighborhood's sushi place after that? I know I don't.

And so that's it for now folks. Seriously give this place a try. I know I have to come back for the Omakase menu and I gotta give Lavanderia a try, Park's other restaurant that's literally next door. I'm not joking.

In the meantime, if my post didn't convince you to book a table now, take a look at their Instagram account. Are you drooling yet?
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