Basic Brunches does Farewell Dinner at Niwa Japanese BBQ

I know what you’re thinking. Farewell dinner? Where you going? So I am moving (for the time being) to Maryland. As some of you that follow know, my SO now lives up there and it was time that I follow. For love or something like that. Before I left, my girls and fellow food bloggers Irene from Chomp! Dallas and Cathleen from Catchows made sure we did a finale dinner, in style, at Niwa Japanese BBQ in Deep Ellum.

“Niwa Japanese BBQ focuses on the subtleties of Japanese cuisine and utilizes new technology for roaster tables.” Basically, you cook your meat yourself at these cool, in-table grills. The menu is hugely diverse, offering shareables like Crudo, edamame, salads, soups, noodles, meats, fish and veggies for the table to grill, and some luscious desserts. Plus… fully stocked bar offering specialty cocktails. AND they’re starting a Sake Tasting this summer where you get 5-7 different sakes.

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Jimmy Niwa, the owner, took care of us personally, picking everything we ate ranging from “yeah, this is pretty normal” to “did I just eat jowl?” But, as I always say, I’ll try anything once, long as it’s not hella spicy.

Drink:

The Hummingbird: tropical citrus, Benedictine, handcrafted grenadine, Hum liqueur, Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin & house bitters

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Salads/Starter:

Niwa: green cabbage, radish, corn, carrot, tomato, hard-boiled egg, roasted sesame dressing

Wafu: seasonal greens, cucumbers, arare, daikon, Japanese wafu dressing

Spicy edamame: edamame, an unknown type of mildly spicy sauce, dehydrated chili

Buta Kakuni: braised pork belly, ginger, mustard, ajitama egg

Octopus: Spanish Octopus, fingerling potatoes, aji amarillo, shiso coulis, sudachi aoili, nasturtium leaves

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I’m going in order of our dishes, but this octopus though (which is not currently on the menu but we HIGHLY suggest they add it) was my third favorite dish. That sounds not great but when you see dish one and two you will understand. Seriously, utterly delicious, I could eat it every day.

Grill Meats:

All the meats (at least for us) came with rice, corn, and miso soup

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Ribeye, strip steak, hanger steak, pork belly, pork sausage.

While you can’t convince me that the pork sausage wasn’t just a cut-up hot dog (although I know it wasn’t) all the meats had shockingly different tastes. I understand that they were different cuts of meat but until you sit down and eat 5 different types of meat back to back you don’t realize the differences so quickly.

Beef tongue.

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Yeah, I ate that.

Marinated Meats:

Smoked filet, skirt steak, short rib.

Apparently, I was so busy eating that I didn’t even realize, until now, that I didn’t grab pictures of these. Let me paint you a picture in your mind. Close your eyes. Picture strips of meat, add a marinade to them so they look red and juicy, there you go. We ended up getting the Happy Hour size. BTW every Tuesday is Happy Hour ALL DAY!

Berkshire pork jowl with in-house made yuzo kosho.

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Ok… remember how I said that when we got to dish one and two you would understand why the octopus was favorite dish three? We’re there now.

The best meats ever: 

American Wagyu from N Ranch in Sherman, Texas

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It’s a Japanese Wagyu cross-bred American cow to make America Wagyu. While less marbleized than traditional Japanese Wagyu, still melts in your mouth.

A5 grade Traditional Japanese Wagyu from Miyazaki, Japan

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*Hold for gasps*

Yeah. Full blown, NY strip style, practically white from all the delicious, delicious marbleized fat, Japanese Wagyu beef.

Dishes one and two, respectfully.

Beef now has been ruined for me, forever. Filet mignon is now a peasant cut.

Dessert:

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Panna Cotta: Madagascar vanilla, yuzu strawberry coulis, chilled raspberries, matcha sugar
Semi-Fredo Cheesecake: lemon cheesecake, ginger blueberry compote, lemon curd, graham crumble
Coffee Jelly: Full City Rooster’s Guatemalan coffee, sweet cream, hazelnut powder, candied almonds
Conclusion:
While there was no dish that I wouldn’t fully willingly eat again, I will point out all my absolute favorites.
1. Japanese Wagyu
2. American Wagyu
3. Spanish Octopus
4. Semi-Fredo Cheesecake
5. Niwa salad
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