Friday, June 24, 2011

Gone to Maneki

Finally, I went to Maneki - Japanese Restaurant that has been in Seattle for over 100 years. I have heard about it from friends and read reviews online, all of which were positive. But today after reading about it in the latest issue of Travel+Leisure I decided to make a call to try and get in for dinner. Success – 5:30 p.m. at the Sushi Bar.

My friend and I drive up to this place, which from the outside looks just like any other thai restaurant on “the Ave” in U-district. We enter in and get greeted by an older Japanese lady. Waitress takes us in. We pass tables and private rooms called “Tatami Rooms” and finally make it to a small sushi bar that can sit 6 at most.

Maneki is different from other Japanese restaurants I have been to in Seattle. It does not have “sophisticated feeling” of Nishino and it is not what I would call “your typical Japanese restaurant” like Kisaku and I Love Sushi. This place is something else. It has a friendly laid-back atmosphere, attentive friendly staff and the most extensive menu of Japanese Dishes I have ever seen. I want to try everything and we did (almost)!

Here is what we ordered tonight. Takoyaki  - some type of dough filled with pieces of octopus, served with special sauce and sprinkled with nori. Age Dashi Tofu – lightly deep-fried tofu with thinly sliced scallions served in broth with daikon radish. Vegetable and Shrimp tempura – similar to other places except the portion was twice what you get at I Love Sushi but costs 50% less. JoJo Roll – fresh water eel roll along with the usual Spider Roll. And then we moved to the nigiri. We enjoyed Chutoro, Yellowtail and Seabass. Fish was fresh and pieces were large. Of course we could not finish all the food but took it home. Yes, I have that Takoyaki waiting for me in a fridge ;) The bill without the tip was $59, which also included beer and tea. I would say it was worth every penny!

Maneki has a Web site and here is its link. You can check out their menu and operating hours on it.

So, what kind of place is it? It is a place with relaxed and friendly atmosphere where you can expand your horizons in the area of Traditional Japanese cuisine that includes variety of dishes other than regular nigiri and sushi rolls and you will not leave with a hole in your wallet.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

My favorite pie is Strawberry-Rhubarb and I love making it this time of a year. I have been making this pie over several years now and found a recipe that works for me and does not take much time. Here it is.


Two 9" Traditional Wholly Wholesome Pie Shells
2 cups of red rhubarb, chopped
2 cups of strawberries, sliced
1 and 1/4 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of white flour
2 tablespoons of minute tapioca
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 egg
extra flour


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Combine sugar, rhubarb and strawberries in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, tapioca, vanilla, lemon juice and zest to the bowl and mix all ingredients together.

2. I usually let pie shells sit in a room temperature for about 30-45 minutes before baking. Add rhubarb and strawberry mixture into one pie shell and distribute evenly. Don't overload otherwise the filling will bubble over.

3. Next step is to make a pie top. If you are lazy you can just put the other pie shell on top and prick few holes in it. Don't forget to press the sides of both pie shells together to keep it sealed. But I like to have a lattice pie top. To make it I take the second pie shell and roll it out on a board with some flour. Then I cut strips of desired thickness and length with a regular knife. I braid the strips on top of the pie and press the ends of the strips to the first pie shell to seal them. I whisk an egg and brush the top of a pie with it.

4. Bake the pie at 425F for 15 minutes. After that lower temperature to 375F and bake for another 50 minutes until the pie is bubbling and the crust and top is golden brown. Let the pie cool off. I usually let it cool over night and in the morning I have a slice with a cup of coffee.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Radishes and Cucumber

One of my childhood memories is eating radishes and green onions in early summer. These were one of the first vegetables that we would have from our garden. They are in season now. I made this salad with radishes and cucumbers couple days ago and want to share its recipe.


1 small head of bibb lettuce (or 1/2 half of big one)
3-4 radishes, sliced thinly into circles
1/2 english cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced
1-2 green onions, chopped
juice of 1/3 lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and Pepper 


In a salad bowl combine lettuce, radishes, cucumber, green onions, add lemon juice, olive oil and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.