One of the things that I know that I will miss the most from NY/NJ is the seafood, especially Japanese Cuisine.
I know great Japanese all-you-can-eat restaurants like IchiUmi, Minado and Mitsuwa, all located in New Jersey. The quality is always superb. The flavors are mouth-watering and they never limit the quantity you can order.
I have been looking for a similar restaurant in the Tampa Bay area/Clearwater. I came across Koizi Endless Hibachi & Sushi Eatery. We decided to give it a try because we are seriously going through a Japanese food withdrawal. We miss it that much.
The quality of the fish is sushi grade. The amount you eat in very, very limited. It is not like the name of the restaurant says, “Endless.” It does have an end, and if you don’t want it to end, you have to pay extra. I am used to eating 50 pieces with Honey Bunch, but at Koizi, we were limited to only six pieces per person. You can order three different types of fish and each order comes with two pieces.
The salad shouldn’t be called a salad. It is just lettuce and the seasoning barely tastes like ginger.
The way the restaurant works is that you have to pay for every piece of sushi that you don’t finish. Therefore, if you didn’t like the roll, you are paying for it on top of the “endless” price. We ordered “Pink Lady Roll,” “Koizi Roll” and “Rainbow Roll.” We liked the “Pink Lady Roll” the most.
We ordered Pad Thai as well. It didn’t come with jumbo shrimp or chicken and it has very few peanuts. It wasn’t very authentic.
The dessert was very limited including the amount of scoops of ice cream you get. They just offer a variety of ice creams and mini fried donuts. The green tea flavor one was very light. It was nothing compared to the ones I have made myself or tasted it before.
Overall, the restaurant is worth to try. I suggest you go in very hungry and take advantage of it as much as you can. The rice in the sushi will fill you up pretty fast. The flavors are okay and the ambiance is low-key and comfortable. I just wish the menu was really “endless.”
Koizi Endless Hibachi & Sushi Eatery
17012 Palm Pointe Drive, Tampa, FL 33647
This is not a paid advertisement. I do like this restaurant just a bit.
Hello again! I am back blogging. It took awhile but I am finally set up at home and cooking more than ever. I LOVE it here. I finally feel at home and for the first time in two years I can cook and bake at my heart’s content.
Since the chef has arrived in town, I am doing my creations left and right. I made these for New Year’s Eve dinner. They were a hit. The recipe brought back memories of culinary school. Tarts hold a special place in my heart.
I got the passion fruit from my uncle’s backyard and their tanginess is perfect for a tart. The shell is Pâte Sablée.
I garnished the tarts with mango coulis, dried strawberries and Swiss meringues.
I dried strawberry slices with a dehydrator I bought on sale almost a year ago and used it for the first time with these. I love it. Now I want to make beef jerky.
The powder on the plate is made out of dried strawberries. I used a grinder to make it, then pass it through a fine chinois to remove the seeds.
If you want to make a big tart instead of mini ones, use the same recipe. You can see the procedure here with the Lemon Tart.
Never forget the “baking beans” to hold down the shell during the first round of baking.
Cheers to 2015. May the year bring joy to you, your loved ones and, of course, lots of cooking.
Passion Fruit Tart With Mango Coulis, Dried Strawberries and Swiss Meringues
Difficulty: Moderate Yield: 8 servings
For The Pâte Sablée
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease pans
- 90 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 255 g cake flour, sifted
For The Tart Filling
- 3 eggs
- 130 g granulated sugar
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 100 ml pure passion fruit purée
To Blind Bake
- 1 cup dried beans
- 1 sheet of parchment paper or restaurant-grade plastic wrap
- 1 ½ cups mango puree
- ⅓ cup white granulated sugar
- Dried Strawberries
- Swiss Meringues
For The Pâte Sablée
Pre-heat your oven at 350° F.
Cut the butter into small cubes. Place them in a bowl. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar all at once along with a pinch of salt. With the help of a wooden spoon, mix together. Add the egg yolks. This time mix with a spatula. Once combined, it will be a very sticky mixture. Add the sifted flour all at once. Mix well, then work the dough with your hands until you can form a giant ball with it, then flatten it. Wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until it is very firm.
Butter 8 mini tart pans that have a removable bottom.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3/10 of a centimeter. Cut the dough in circles big enough to cover the mini pans.
Carefully place the dough on the tart pan. Make sure you reach the corners to fully cover it. Take the rolling pin and roll it on top to remove excess. Repeat with all the mini pans.
Place a parchment paper circle or plastic wrap a bit bigger than the size of the pan in the tart pans. Fill them with dried beans. Place the tarts in the pre-heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until it is golden.
Remove the mini tarts from oven and remove the parchment paper/plastic wrap and dried beans. If the bottom is not fully cooked, place them back in the oven. This usually happens when the tart is too thick or you place too many dried beans. Lower the oven temperate to 300° F.
Let it cool until it reaches room temperature.
For the Filling
Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the sugar. Whisk lightly just until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Pour the cream into the mixture. Whisk lightly, then add the pure passion fruit purée and keep whisking until the filling is well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
Pour the filling into the pastry shells once it has cooled down. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the tarts from the oven. When they have cooled slightly, remove them from the tart pans, and then let it cool completely.
Place the mango purée and sugar in a small pan. Stir it until fully combined and bring it to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes over low heat or until the sauce has been reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let the mango coulis reach room temperature before serving it.
Serve the tarts with mango coulis, dried strawberries and Swiss meringue.
- If the tarts are golden brown, cover the sides with foil. Cut a circle made out of foil, place the pan on top of the foil and cover the sides leaving the center uncovered to bake the filling.
- I make my own mango purée with 1000 g roughly chopped mangoes and 3 cups water. Blended it well, then pass it through a chinois to remove the fibers. I freeze any leftover purée for a future use.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
It feels like it was yesterday when I started this plan in my head of wanting to move to the South two years ago. My head was focused on one goal only, and that was finishing my B.A. in journalism, then move as soon as I can to try to get a job in a new market, which sometimes can be hard.
I was still completing my Associate of Arts in communications when I decided what the following two years would look like. What I never imagined was that my last semester would be mayhem. I had to make sacrifices like moving our belongings to a storage facility. It didn’t make sense to get a new place when I would be moving two months after. This is the reason why I can’t write about cooking these days because I don’t have my tool or a kitchen.
People say chefs are a diva and I am beginning to believe it too. I can’t cook in other people’s kitchen. Hardly anyone has the tools, pots and pans I use. I tried and it was a nightmare. I can cook in a professional kitchen but I go crazy in any other besides my own.
And to add to the madness, I had to take 21 credits in order to finish school on time this semester. It’s insane. Half the time I don’t remember my own name and I don’t know how I made it through. I find energy and strength where the tank is empty. My determination to accomplish all my goals for 2014 must be carrying me through the journey. It truly feels the end of an era.
I have been in the Northeast for eight long and cold years. I am grateful to have had the chance to live here. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to study at the French Culinary Institute, work on TV or radio if I wasn’t living here. I am not sure where my life would be without them. They guided me to where I am today. Everything I’ve study is a big part of me. I love food as much as I love writing and producing for TV or radio.
I am happy to start a new home with my husband and dogs (Ginger and Brownie travel a lot) in a new place that is HOT!
Since we had a few items left and my car, we decided to drive down South stopping wherever we wanted to. One of those places was Washington, DC.
DC is beautiful with old architecture around the area. The photo above was from the balcony of our hotel room. It is minutes away from the Lincoln Memorial. It’s called Washington One Circle. I liked the hotel because they allow pets and it is not a dungeon. Ginger and Brownie were running back and forth in the room. It was quite big for a small hotel. The room has a small kitchen in it in a separate room. We just stayed for less than 10 hours but it was awesome to be able to sleep and not be in the car.
We spent thanksgiving on the road in North Carolina. Shout out to the State Trooper who helped us when we needed help. I shall write a post about things you shouldn’t do when moving across country.
I am excited about my future. I miss cooking dearly. I am counting down the days when the semester is over and I can reunite with my family and enjoy the warm weather awaiting for me.