Friday, March 12, 2010
Doma - Modern Japanese/Korean in Franklintown
That said, Doma also has a sushi bar and features many raw-fish items, so it's not so different from other places around town, but the number of interesting items from the kitchen is much larger. The owners of this place have run Shiroi Hana in Center City for many years, so the sushi component is a pretty obvious thing to export, and that restaurant offers more cooked items than many places do, but it's a pleasant surprise to see some modern dishes from both Japan and Korea available at Doma.
We've finally been seeing lots of Steamed Pork Buns (pictured above) around town, and not a minute too soon. This version is one of the best we've had in Philly, featuring delicate bread, and satisfyingly meaty, crusty pork. The menu says it's braised pork belly, but it seemed more like roasted pork shoulder - still plenty of fat for richness, but substantial, and nicely caramelized. I could have used a touch more of the sweet sauce, or even a dollop of Kewpie Mayo, but even as-is, these are pretty high in the ranking of pork buns in town. There's even a version with mushroom, rather than pork, for the vegetarians.
There's not a lot of Okonomiyaki being served around town, so we were pleased to find it here, and this version of the savory pancake, enlivened with bacon, drizzled with sweet sauce and mayo and bristling with bonito shavings was hearty and satisfying.
Ironically, the sushi platter that one of our party ordered failed to impress. It had good variety, and decent quality fish, but overall just seemed blah. In all fairness, this visit was on one of the first days they were open, so they may not have been fully up-to-speed, they were not very busy yet, and perhaps they hadn't fully-stocked the sushi area. We'll certainly give them another shot.
Or...to a degree, we don't even care... We are more interested in the other parts of the menu anyway. Of course one always hopes that everything on the menu is good, but in this circumstance, we're perfectly happy to eat other things here.
Like the Ankimo, a monkfish liver mousse of sorts. This one, served with wasabi-cured roe and a sweet ponzu sauce, was quite nice.
The Uni Trio featured three presentations of fresh sea-urchin, one atop shredded daikon, another atop firm tofu, and a shooter that featured a raw quail egg and sake. The uni itself was good, although I'm not sure these particular contexts improved it much, they didn't ruin it either... The exact components of the trio are likely to change day to day.
There are several more appealing-looking large dishes, like Kalbi, Tonkatsu, Salmon Shioyaki, and even dinner bento boxes with a variety of items.
So we have plenty of motivation to return, to try things we didn't, and also to get more of those pork buns!
1822 Callowhill St.