One of the few places I attribute my slowly expanding waistline is to Dragon King's Daughter. Make no mistake, it's easy to order healthy there, but quite difficult to order moderately.
Naturally, I couldn't stop myself when they announced they were launching new menu items at the New Albany location. I hope you can suffer through all these mouth watering pictures before you jump in your car and head North.
We started with drinks. They were featuring $2 Asahi beer for their launch party so we ordered one along with a drink special, a Blackberry Mojito. While we expected the mulled blackberry and mint, we also took note of gigantic juicy blueberries snuggled amongst the ice at the bottom of the glass. After our first sips, we weren't sure what to think of it. It wasn't overly sweet but more fizzy with seltzer with fruity overtones. We found the more we sipped, the more we enjoyed how the flavors of fruit weren't overpowered by sugar. The slight fizz was refreshing and light.
We moved on to new menu items next. I was very excited to hear that yakitori would be available. Yakitori is a common street food in Japan and comes in a variety of flavors and cuts. We immediately ordered two skewers, one salt flavored, one teriyaki. Both were relatively mild in flavor. The seasoning was good, but I prefer a heavier dose.
Next came the Drunken Chicken Tacos. Sake marinated chicken breast tossed with miso dressing was tucked into crisp wonton shell with avocado, cilantro, red onion, and cabbage. It was deliciously balanced. The dressing was sweet yet tamed by the creamy avocado, savory marinated chicken, and zesty cilantro and onion. The added crunch of cabbage and wonton made this small bite such a delight.
Next, I'm going to do you a big favor and tell you about Saba Misoni. (Insert drool here.) I found out that our order was the first of the evening and for shame! I suspect the description of mackerel stewed in sweet miso sauce with daikon isn't an easy sell for a Western audience. This is truly a sad thing because this dish is heavenly. My dining partner referred to it as an "umami bomb". (If you don't know what umami is, see here.) It was so rich and creamy, we had to seriously resist licking the bowl. This is a flavor you won't find anywhere else. Take my advice, try it.
The sashimi came next. I likely don't have to tell Louisville.com Food and Dining readers what salmon tastes like. However, you know when you get that slice of salmon that just makes all others pale in comparison? It's likely from the belly near the neck where the majority of the fat is. Our sashimi was just that, some of the best cuts off the fish. It was like butter. (You all know I really wanted to write "buttah", right?) Not remotely fishy, the glistening morsels melted in your mouth.
We ordered two rolls, The first paired rich escolar with spicy jalapeno, Sriacha, and sweet roasted red pepper. The second was topped with buttery scallop and salmon, was slightly torched which added a touch of bitterness. This helped the sweetness of the fish pop.
I can imagine you think this is the end. Surely, we'd stuffed ourselves silly and had enough. Surely, if we had room for anything else, we'd share it. Alas, we were unable to resist ordering two desserts. We gleefully tucked into a mango and avocado roll wrapped with soy paper and topped with a generous slab of rich cream cheese. All of it was dusted with sugar and orange zest and torched. Again, the slight bitterness heightened the other sweet flavors. I especially enjoyed the citrus notes that lightened up all the rich flavors. We also couldn't resist ordering black sesame ice cream to accompany our final sushi roll. The flavor was naturally nutty but with hints of molasses. Yum.
A great stop in for some unique new flavors that are far from challenging. It's also such a diverse menu, there's likely something on it for everybody. A great eating destination for any occasion, it's worth the scenic trip across the river, I promise.
Are you out the door yet?