It was a decision made on plain laziness. Having checked into St Regis San Francisco, my partner and I were famished and didn’t want to venture far for dinner. In the midst of flipping through the hotel directory, we decided to head down to Ame, which is just 15 floors down our hotel room.
Located within the St Regis San Francisco, Ame is one of the two restaurants in the hotel. It’s only when we walked into Ame that we discovered this Japanese-inspired restaurant has been consistently featured in the Michelin guide since 2008.
First, the service was top-notch. The well-trained service crew was attentive without being intrusive. The waiter and server were able to anticipate our needs, from the additional bread roll, water to wine.
The simple yet classy Interior of Ame
The Tempura “Poke” with Ogo Seaweed, Hawaiian Sea Salt and Green Onions is heavenly! Fresh tuna is sliced into small cubes and wrapped the Ogo seaweed. It is then fried very quickly to give the outer layer a slight crisp without cooking the tuna filling. The texture is spectacular and the taste is awesome.
Tempura “Poke” with Ogo Seaweed, Hawaiian Sea Salt and Green Onions
Ame is famous for its “Chawan-Mushi” Japnese Savory Custard with Lobster, Sea Urchin, Shiitake and Mitsuba Sauce. This Japanese eye custard is flawlessly executed in both presentation and taste. The bright orangey yellow sea urchin and red lobster rest nicely on the golden yellow egg custard. The egg custard is silky smooth and the lobster is fresh. This “Chawan-Mushi” is perfection! The unusual use of sea urchin and lobster gives this ordinary Japanese staple a luxurious take without overwhelming it.
“Chawan-Mushi” Japnese Savory Custard with Lobster, Sea Urchin, Shiitake and Mitsuba Sauce
The Potato Gnocchi with Speck, Forest Mushrooms, English Peas and Mint is equally good. The gnocchi is done al-dente and not overly cooked. Its firm texture has a very nice bite. When paired with a generous amount of forest mushrooms, the simple pasta comes to life.
Potato Gnocchi with Speck, Forest Mushrooms, English Peas and Mint
If you love fish, the Broiled Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in Shiso Broth is a shoo-in. This is a delicate dish, easy on the palate and yet never fails to impress you with its simplicity. The cod is very fresh and flavourfully marinated with sake. It is gently seared to give it a sweet caramelised layer before the fragrant shiso broth is poured over it in a bowl.
Broiled Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in Shiso Broth
The Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with Cheddar Polenta, Brussels Sprouts and Chorizo Sautéed Shimeji Mushrooms is a good alternative for those who prefer something heavier. The grilled pork chop is tender and juicy. The Brussel sprouts are the best that I ever had. Unlike the usual bitter sprouts, these are sweet and crunchy.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with Cheddar Polenta, Brussels Sprouts and Chorizo Sautéed Shimeji Mushrooms
No meal is complete without a good dessert. I love my Almond Milk Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote and Pink Peppercorn Meringue. Served in a tall glass, you get to taste the different flavours as one slowly skims each layer.
Almond Milk Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote and Pink Peppercorn Meringue
Considering it being a Michelin-starred restaurant, a meal at Ame is not overly expensive. I had expected a heftier bill. With an excellent menu and reasonable pricing, Ame is my favourite restaurant in this trip to the United States. And if I’m heading back to the Bay Area, this is the restaurant that I must visit.
689 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: +1 415 284-4040