Love the flavors of Japan and Thailand and wish you could taste them together? So did Esaan owner Yutthpon “Tu” Wetchapinan. The McLean restaurateur had a successful pop-up last summer at El Techo in DC, but for his return, he wanted to combine his own culinary aesthetic with some of his friends who specialize in Japanese cuisine. He enlisted DC pop-up veteran Masako Morishita, of Otabe, then asked Saran “Peter” Kannasute of Arlington’s Yume Sushi to join them.
The Yume x Esaan x Otabe pop-up, taking place on September 28, will feature six courses, two from each chef. The meal begins with Kannasute’s signature lavender-smoked salmon, which smokes in the flowers for 48 hours, served with jalapeno and garlic ponzu sauce, then is crowned with a balsamic pearl. He’s also responsible for the sixth course of a chirashi bowl served over a blend of jasmine and sushi rice covered in 52-year-aged soy sauce. Esaan’s courses include a cucumber salad with fresh chiles, green beans, tomatoes, salted egg and dried shrimp, as well as the meat course, an Indian flatbread stuffed with New York strip flavored with fresh mint, scallion, red onion, roasted rice and dried chile with Esaan spicy sauce. Otabe veers furthest from the Asian theme with slow-cooked daikon with Brie brulee, then returns to Japan with a mini okonomiyaki pancake served with both Thai and Japanese sauces.
All three chefs also designed a cocktail to complement the meal at an additional cost. To pair with the smoked salmon, Kannasute has created a lavender cocktail that combines vodka, lavender syrup, lemon juice, fresh lavender buds, lavender bitters and club soda. Esaan’s Jungle Fever is a spicy mezcal drink with lemongrass-chile syrup, fresh lime juice and cilantro. Otabe’s tipple is a simple mix of shochu, lemon and club soda.
Tickets for the dinner are $65. Click here to make your reservation.