Ame – San Francisco, CA

CL wanted to go out for a nice dinner on Saturday (17th) to celebrate her mom’s birthday~ After some research, she decided on Ame. CL picked this restaurant because of the Asian influence, so that her mom would not be overwhelmed by the food AND because they have “recognition” from the Michelin critics.

Honestly, I am a total sucker for restaurants with awards. Especially world renowned awards like the Michelin Star. Ame has received 1 star for the past 3 years.

I cannot find the right words to describe what Ame offers. I don’t think I could beat the way their website describe their food :

“Ame’s seasonal menu reflects what Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani call “personal cuisine” — a refined blending of local ingredients with the flavors of southern France and northern Italy, filtered through Hiro’s Japanese culinary sensibilities and inspired by the couple’s passionate pursuit of exceptional dining.”

The restaurant was kinda oddly situated and part of the Regis Hotel. The exterior was dark and I did not know what to expect. But the interior was nice and simply decorated.

CL picked the tasting menu so let’s go through that first.

First off: The tasting menu, 5 courses for $85

1st course: 3 preparations of sashimi

She only like the salmon sashimi with the creme fraiche. I thought the Snapper crudo in oil (left) was not bad. We both thought the tuna was weird and way too citrusy (it tasted like bathroom freshener)

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2nd course: Cream of Corn Soup

with Corn Scallion Fritters and Huitlacoche

This was very unimpressive. It was pretty sweet and just tasted like any other cream of corn.

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3rd course: Broiled Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod in Shiso Broth

Ame’s signature dish. This is also on their Ala Carte menu and the difference is that, they don’t serve the shrimp dumplings with the tasting menu (ignore the dumpling in this picture, this is my half order).

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4th course: Grilled Beef Tenderloin

with Potato Ravioli and Forest Mushroom Sauce

Most boring dish of the night. CL liked the ravioli but the beef was a little tough to me and it was pretty blah.

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5th course: Baked Chocolate Mousse

with Burnt Coconut Marshmallow, Cocoa Nib Tuile and Soy Caramel Sauce

The mousse was dry (which is weird for mousse) but the cocoa nib tuile was good.

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Normally I would go for the tasting menu, but I was underwhelmed by the menu itself. So I went for the ala carte items.

The next few dishes were off their ala carte menu:

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“Kaisen” Sashimi Salad $17.50

with Japanese Cucumber, Hijiki, Tobiko Caviar and Yuzu Soy Vinaigrette

CL’s mom ordered this as her appy. She really enjoyed it,our favourite parts were the salmon that tasted cured; and the vinaigrette was good too.

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Crispy Soft Shell Crab on Potato Fondue $17.50

with Bacon Chips, Maitake Mushrooms, Okra and Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc

This is my choice of appy. The crab was soggy and not crispy at all BUT that being said, it was really tasty. Everything on the plate was awesome by themselves or all in one bite.

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Broiled Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in Shiso Broth – $34.

CL’s mom chose this as her main. And I got the half order as my 2nd course. I almost ordered 2 full entrees then our server mentioned that he could do half orders for this because of the tasting menu.

So of course, I just had to have it. I liked being able to create my own tasting. :) The fish was excellent! Melt in your mouth and seasoned perfectly in a rich broth. Favourite of the night (for everyone).

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Grilled Breast of Liberty Farm Duck $36

with Forest Mushroom Foie Gras Bread Pudding and Sour Cherry Duck Sauce

My other entree/ 3rd course.  Overall, the highlights were the delicious fluffy bread pudding that had mushrooms n bits of bacon (i think) in them, the perfectly seared foie gras on top.

I thought the duck was a little too rare for my liking but it tasted good. I was sooo stuffed at this point, I could not order a dessert. :( We all shared CL’s and her mom’s complimentary vanilla bean gelato (birthday dessert).

Us and CL’s giant camera. ( I like my simple point n shoot tiny digital) lol

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Total Damage : $300 (including 1 glass of wine, tax & tip)

Personal rating : 3.75 out of 5 (Pretty Darn Good)

Overall ambience and food was well above average. The food was well worth the prices but tasting menu left much to be desired. That being said, there are a lot of good choices in their ala carte menu~

Service was excellent. Our server was a really nice PATIENT gentleman. I am impressed at how well he handled our table. I was being very indecisive, he let me try about 5 different wines before I picked one (that I could not even remember the name, all I know is that, it was french and white).

Then I took forever to decide on what to eat, and was torn between 4 entrees. It took me well over 15 minutes to order.

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Ame Restaurant

689 Mission St
In the St. Regis Hotel

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San Francisco, CA 94105


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