Chew on This

Jimbo's 2.0 menu

July 19th, 2016
Photos by Joleen Oshiro / joshiro@staradvertiser.com Toro Neba Udon features some of Jimbo's co-owner Makiko Motojima's favorite food items, including mountain vegetables, sea veggies, natto and green onions. Served cold, it comes with a dollop of wasabi. Jimbo's makes its udon in-house daily.

Photos by Joleen Oshiro / joshiro@staradvertiser.com
Toro Neba Udon features some of Jimbo's co-owner Makiko Motojima's favorite food items, including mountain vegetables, sea veggies, natto and green onions. Served cold, it comes with a dollop of wasabi. Jimbo's makes its udon in-house daily.

With udon made fresh daily, Jimbo's has long been a go-to venue to get a consistently delicious, well-made meal. Its menu of hot and cold udon, donburi, curry, tonkatsu, tempura, gyoza and combo meals offer numerous routes for regulars to sate their hunger and a variety of means to draw in new customers.

Yet this year, owners Jim and Makiko Motojima have introduced new items that take their menu to places it's never before tread, with dishes that will appeal to foodies' love of big flavors and culinary adventure, not to mention top-quality ingredients.

Much of this starts with a versatile sauce they call Jimbo's Ultimate Sauce, which goes with everything from fish and chicken to tempura, gyoza and salad. The sauce is the result of 25 ingredients concocted using a multitude of steps and cooking techniques, said Jim.

The Black Goma Tan Tan Udon combines a black sesame seed sauce with spicy chilies, garlic, ginger and other items for a Chinese-flavored bowl of goodness. It took Jim Motojima a month to create the black sesame sauce, plus four or five revisions to develop the tan tan broth.

The Black Goma Tan Tan Udon combines a black sesame seed sauce with spicy chilies, garlic, ginger and other items for a Chinese-flavored bowl of goodness. It took Jim Motojima a month to create the black sesame sauce, plus four or five revisions to develop the tan tan broth.

The process begins with frying onions, ginger and garlic coated in flour, and boiling a combo of sake, miso and sugar. The fried vegetables are added to the sake mixture, then combined with sesame seeds, togarashi (chili pepper) and sesame oil. Soybean oil heated to its smoking point is combined with the mixture, and fresh green onions, miso, garlic and a ponzu sauce, also made by Jim, are added in.

He isn't kidding when he says it has a complex taste. The sauce is so popular Makiko is looking into bottling it for sale.

While Jim is responsible for recipe development, Makiko flexed her creative culinary muscles to help create the fiery and flavorful Black Goma Tan Tan Udon, a customer favorite. The broth starts with a black sesame sauce Jim created with kuro goma (black sesame seeds), soy sauce, sugar and soy milk. The sauce is punched up with chilies, green onions, garlic, ginger, and garlic and ginger oils, for "lots of Chinese flavor," said Jim.

The bowl of spicy udon is garnished with jidori chicken, snow peas and other vegetables.

Want to spread the joy of Jimbo's new dishes? Get a Jimbo's gift card. It bears the restaurant's new logo, designed by Jim and Makiko's daughter, art student Kana Motojima.

Want to spread the joy of Jimbo's new dishes? Get a Jimbo's gift card. It bears the restaurant's new logo, designed by Jim and Makiko's daughter, art student Kana Motojima.

Another new dish, inspired by Makiko's favorite Japanese foods, is the Toro Neba Udon, a dish featuring mountain yam, nameko mushroom, mekabu (a sea vegetable) and natto — all slimy in consistency — and served hot or cold. A cold version, delivered with a dollop of wasabi on the side, is both refreshing and satisfying.

Diners who don't or can't partake of noodles have many ono options, thanks to the inclusion of jidori chicken and kurobuta pork on the menu. The jidori chicken adds a boost of flavor to not just udon bowls, but donburi and curry items as well. The kurobuta delivers clean flavor to a plate of ginger pork, donburi and Jimbo's beloved gyoza.

The dessert menu was also beefed up, with zenzai, sorbet and a goma mocha that finds another delicious use for Jim's kuro goma sauce.

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