The Grand Re-Opening of Izakaya
This time around, I met some friends at Izakaya Restaurant in Guardamar del Segura España for the restaurant’s big opening night after a little bit of remodeling. From the moment I walked through the door, I was warmly welcomed by the wonderfully pleasant aroma coming from Yumi’s kitchen and Izakaya’s new look and feel — not to mention there were the soothing sounds of Johnny Halladay playing on the stereo in the background. The ambiance reminded me of the many cozy and quaint little European bistro’s travelers find all over Europe. Izakaya’s new atmosphere was a fresh start; it was much more intimate and I liked what I saw.
Like always, Javier was right there to greet me with the usual outstretched hand, while Yumi offered her greetings from the kitchen. I brought a bottle from the Bodega Ecológica Luis Saavedra and I was eager to see the Yumi creation with which our wine would be paired. I could see we were going to have another wonderful evening! A minute or two passed and my dinner companions trickled through the door. Once everyone arrived, Javier showed us to our table.
Our very special Vino de Autor (Signature Wine) was a bottle of Luis Saavedra Garnacha Centenaria, Chulo 2015, from the famous Spanish Wine Region, Castile-La Mancha Spain: D.O. Vinos de Madrid. Yumi prepared a special menu to pair with the wine for our big evening. Our meal started with a nice appetizer of hummus and bread sticks, the entrée was one of my favorites: it was Duck Magret with Yumi’s own delightful Hunter’s sauce. We also had small “semi-cubed” potatoes, and a tasty mixture of sliced & sautéed mushrooms and of course bread! Yumi completed her menu with a wonderfully light postre; it was a delicious lemon bread pudding with peaches. And of course, we had a nice café au lait.
While we chatted, the Barman set our hummus appetizer on the table before he uncorked the Chulo and let it breathe for a few minutes. When Javier poured that lovely ruby-red wine into our glasses, I won’t deny I was eager for a taste. The aroma of the Spanish Wine was nice and fruity with a slight hint of spice mixed in with the oak barrel. The wine was full-bodied and very well balanced, my pallet came right to life as I swirled the wine around my mouth. My tongue was enjoying the smooth, berry flavor of the Chulo and the finish was fantastic; it lingered delightfully on my pallet, making me want more. After a few whiffs and a few sips from my glass, I was sold on Saavedra’s 100 year old cepas (strains) of Garnacha grapes; the initial experience of our Spanish Wine was that of pure contentment! Our bottle of Chulo was looking like a great wine for our evening.
I liked the taste of the hummus on the crunchy bread-sticks, it was a nice little appetizer that went very well with our wine tasting event. Yumi’s hummus was suave and mild, it mixed well with the red-berry aroma and flavor of the Chulo; our wine was beckoning me for one sip after another. So far, we were all very pleased and I knew I wasn’t the only one who was waiting to see how the wine paired with our entrée; we were delighted with the heavenly elixir previously contained within our bottle of Saavedra…then as quick as you can blink your eyes, Yumi and Javi popped up at our table out of nowhere and served our Duck Magret!
To say the aroma from our table was heaven sent, would be a bit of an understatement. Our Duck Magret had Yumi’s own special Hunter’s sauce; it was a demi-glaze base, with an orange coulis and unknown Spirit reduction! The rich sauce was gently poured over the top of the perfectly cooked, succulent and tender slices of Yumi’s medium-rare duck breast. The potatoes were cut into small “cubes,” then french-fried and sautéed in Spanish Olive Oil, garlic and parsley. The delicious mixture of mushrooms Yumi used were thinly sliced Enoki, Himeji, Shiitake and Maitake, all sautéed in butter, garlic and parsley. Naturally, Yumi adorned our entrées with a very tasty touch of a frutas del bosque coulis around the edge of each plate. Our table was looking and smelling very French, so much in fact, that I almost caught myself saying, “Sacré Bleu!”
The Chulo went great with the Entrée and it held its own. The wine maintained its delightful nose and fruity flavor, as well as its smoothness throughout our meal. Our bottle of Saavedra Wine went great with everything. I know the Chulo has been fully elaborated to be thoroughly enjoyed on its very own merits: Chapeau to the Wine Maker!
Javier set our cups of café au lait on the table as Yumi served our lemon bread pudding. I always look forward to the Yumi surprise she has for postre! Like all of Yumi’s creations, her dessert was no different. The lemon bread pudding was beautifully presented with a touch of powdered sugar, mint leaf and chocolate syrup. It was light for bread pudding and the peaches were refreshing and juicy. Yumi’s bread pudding went great with her dinner menu and our café au lait!
The grand re-opening of Izakaya Restaurant was a big success. Yumi and Javi had a packed house for the event. I know that I had a wonderful time with my friends savoring the delightful flavor’s and smelling the pleasant aroma’s of Yumi’s lovingly prepared delicacies along with our fantastic bottle of Chulo!
When you find yourself vacationing in Spain, don’t forget to give Izakaya Restaurant a call and reserve your own special occasion with an evening of the fabulous culinary delights and sensations of Chef Yumi Kurachi. Call Izakaya!
Until next time, this is The Taste Bud saying au revoir, adiós and…
Contact: 648 898 718
Chef Yumi Kurachi
Calle Lepanto, 26
03140 Guardamar del Segura
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