While I was looking through photos on my Nikon D5100 today, I found these photos that I took while dining at Le Café Michi with a couple of friends a while ago. These are OLD. Not like your-grandma old, but more like took-them-two-months-ago-but-was-too-lazy-to-write-a-review, old. So here it is, the long overdue review.
When me and my friends think about going to dinner with people that we haven’t seen in a while, the word “Moxie’s” pops up almost reflexively. It must be those paid commercial messages working their magic. But I choose to defy those urges. Defy them, I say! Thanks to me, we were able to avoid the boring food at Moxie’s, and went to Le Café Michi instead because the spot is pretty hot on the net, and we lived only a couple of minutes away from the restaurant (Wow, giving up my location here. Better pay attention, you stalkers out there! Or not, because I’m pretty sure nobody’s reading my blog right now. I’m just crazy-talking to myself. Yep.)
Le Café Michi is located on 1802 Pharmacy Avenue. The restaurant is hidden in the oddest, most obscure place behind a plaza. Hell, if I didn’t read that it was beside Lin’s Garden, I might have not found it at all. The place was sketchy, and odd. Although there were “reserved” signs on all the tables, the waitress seated us anyways. I suspect that they may be using the signs to convey a sense of scarcity, but that’s just me. Next time, that is, IF there’s a next time, I would probably call ahead and make a reservation in the sushi bar area in the back, which looked a lot less sketchy, at least from the outside.
Looking at the menu, the items were pretty pricey. Thank god for the internet though, I was mentally prepared, and so were my friends. I ordered the Unatama, eel simmered with egg over a bed of rice. My friend Helen ordered the Chyo-Chin bento on my recommendation, while my other friend, Stanley, ordered the Katsu Don. All three of us opted for the combos as we wanted to try the desserts that everyone on the net was so obsessed about.
My Unatama was good. Eel has always been one of my favorite items in Japanese restaurants, because it’s an item that’s more difficult to mess up. The eel at Le Café Michi was tender and fatty. The eggs were ridiculously smooth and perfectly cooked. It was a home-y dish. Maybe a little bit TOO home-y though, because I almost felt like I could make it myself at home (which I later did, and it tasted more or less the same as the dish at the restaurant. I’ll post the recipe soon).
Helen liked her Chyo-Chin bento because she thought it was really cool. It came with three stacked layers: deep fried chicken on the top, sashimi in the middle (Salmon, yellow tail, and tuna I believe), and eel on rice on the very bottom layer. Unfortunately, the setup of the bento was the only thing that she liked about her meal. The fried chicken was under-seasoned (I didn’t try it but I have an immense trust in her taste for food.), and the portion of eel was very small. She left the sashimi to me and Stanley because she didn’t eat raw fish. The sashimi was not the freshest I’ve tasted, but I thought it was OK at the time (this was before my accidental discovery of Sapporo sushi, where I tasted fresh sashimi for the first time).
I don’t have any pictures of Stanley’s Katsu-Don because it was nothing remarkable. But what I do have, is pictures of the amazing dessert that followed (Excuse the poor focus, I was still learning how to use manual focus on my camera). Helen got the tiramisu cake, Stanley went for the Bailey’s cheesecake, while I chose the green tea cake with red bean filling, which was very popular on the net. I have to say that their cakes are nothing short of exceptional - both the chiffon cake and the creamy icing were lightly sweetend just the right amount, and had a texture that was so fluffy and airy that it felt like you were eating a cloud. The red beans in my cake slice added the right punch of sweetness to balance out the less-sweet green tea chiffon cake. This was one of my favorite types of cakes, something light to end a meal that doesn’t make you feel like you need to run a thousand miles on the treadmill. It was one of Helen’s favorite types of cakes as well, and needless to say, she really enjoyed it.
There we sat, content with a good end to the meal when the bill came. Mine and Stanley’s food each totaled around the mark of 20 dollars, while Helen’s meal cost her a whopping 25 dollars, excluding tax. Sure, it was good food for the most part, but I definitely don’t think we got our money’s worth. If I do come back, it’ll be for the dessert.