Pros: Great Food, Great Service
Cons: Located in Alpharetta, Ga. 40 Mins. Outside of Atlanta
Usually when you purchase an “All Inclusive” restaurant Groupon there is some weird catch in the fine print that causes sticker shock when the bill comes. However, with Kickshaw, this was not the case at all. When I asked the waiter about what was included for Groupon users, he politely replied “everything”; and that is how it is supposed to be. Although Kickshaw is located in Alpharetta, it is well worth the drive. The staff was very attentive, the ambiance was nice, and the food was great.
When I first entered I was put off a little by the live country music singer, however he was singing nothing but recognizable radio hits and slaying the songs. On paper, live country music in a Japanese style tavern sounds like a terrible idea but it works. The inside of the restaurant was spotless. If I didn’t know any better I’d have thought that the food inspectors had just left. The stainless steel kitchen apparatuses were shiny, as if they had just been installed. The tables and the floor were well kept. Let’s just say this: If I’d dropped a prawn on the table…I would’ve eaten anyway.
The amount of food that they serve per course is ridiculous. The “small plates” seemed like regular sized servings to me; no complaints over here. The entrees were about 15% larger than the small plates and were large enough to share. They offer sides but honestly, they weren’t needed. On to the food.
The first course was a humongous bowl of She Crab Soup. It was just the smallest bit of spicy with chunks of crab. It was super creamy and light. I would eat this as a cold winter day lunch to keep me going. After making it about 2/3rds the way through the bowl I was mostly full already.
The second course was Imported Maine Lobster with yuju butter sauce, stir-fired. I have no idea what “yuju butter sauce” is but I would put it on everything. The presentation of the dish put me in the mind set of a salad.
The third course was Chile Prawn with Chile Sauce. Honestly, my palate isn’t refined enough to notice the difference between the “Chile sauce” and the “Yuju Butter Sauce”, but it to was delicious none the less. If someone told me that they were the same…I wouldn’t be surprised. I also think they may have taken a little liberty with calling the shrimp prawn. They seemed rather small to be prawn. I would be hard pressed to eye the difference between their “prawn” and “large shrimp”, but again I’m no expert.
The main course was center cut cubed filet with Maine Lobster. No sauce was mentioned by name on the menu but it was the same as the “Chile/ Yuju” sauce. I ordered the filet medium, as any civilized person would, and it was very soft, like I like it. Masterfully cooked. The mashed potatoes that came with the dish could have used two dashes of salt but everything was delicious enough to over look this.
Last, we ordered the “Japanese Cheesecake”. The presentation was awesome. After I took the first picture of it, the pastry chef personally turned the dish to it’s appropriate side for a better picture. I loved it. What that meant to me was that he takes pride in his work. It was very light, so much so that it didn’t give me a feeling of over indulgence as I was already full. My date and I ate the entire thing. I probably would’ve eaten two of them had it been presented.
As you may have noticed I ordered all of the most expensive dishes for the sole purpose of maxing out the available value of the Groupon. However, if I had to do it again I would mix up my choices a bit more. There were so many more choices available that sounded great. But alas, I will definitely revisit at a later date to see what I missed out on. This place would be a perfect date night for someone that lives in the area, but not for those that live within the city limits. I’d recommend Kickshaw for anyone looking for something different and refreshing.
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