Sticks of Bliss: Maison-Yaki delivers big flavors in bite-size portions

My only two regrets of my visit at Olmsted’s Japanese-French spinoff Maison-Yaki is passing on the chawanmushi and resisting the urge to order two of everything. 

I kept staring at the menu and contemplating if we should order the chawanmushi even after we—my son and I—ordered the bulk of our meal: 

• tempura frog legs—the melt-in-your-mouth miracle. The frog legs are delicate, buttery, savory and unforgettable. Served piping hot with a tasty green dipping sauce. This dish is a reason of its own to visit this yaki-topia. Any picky eater will love frog legs the way mine does.

• king trumpet mushrooms—Pick this plate to indulge in pleasantly chewy and satisfying mushrooms served with a diced sweet peppers and tomatoes sauce. Not sure if these mushrooms are the ones grown in house but they probably are!

• lobster & sauce americaine—Divine. A lobster patty that’s been fried and skewered then drenched in a savory sauce. We ate this all too fast.

• chicken breast and sauce allemande—Very good! Cooked perfectly and retained a good amount of moisture. 

• duck a l’orange—I loved this fatty piece of caramelized duck but the sauce was the brilliance of this particular plate. A mini egg yolk posed in the middle of an orange sauce waiting to be mixed. The end result was a luscious, creamy crave-worthy dressing.

• lamb leg & herbes de provence—Gamey, medium on the inside and roasted/grilled on the outside lamb with a light herby sauce. We loved it.

The plates came out fast and not in any order. Maison Yaki doesn’t course, so you get what you get when you get it. I loved this philosophy. It was so refreshing, like every plate that came out was a burst of surprises. Lots of flavor, lots of juicy meats and lots of French sauces that hit the spot. We surprisingly felt full. Each skewer is only two bites but the flavor was amazing. Next time we’ll need 2 (or 3) orders of frog legs. 

After all of that goodness, I was still thinking about ordering the chawanmushi until my son insisted on ordering dessert. After weighing our options, we decided that we’d get the Japanese cheesecake this visit—my son promised the wait staff, the manager and the other patrons that we’d be back next week. He gets carried away about great food like his mom. 

The cheesecake was a cloud. We found ourselves floating on air while eating it, it’s so light and fluffy. The best I’ve tasted, hands down. And it’s served with plums that thankfully, tasted like tart, saucy cherries. A flawless end to a flawless meal. 

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