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Omakase sushi at Yashin

Omakase sushi at Yashin

Cuisine: Japanese

Visit: March 2013

Price: High (high quality ingredient come at high price, especially when imported to London – the Omakase of 15 pieces costs £80, while 8 pieces come for £30).

Can a Westerner imagine a sushi restaurant serving dishes without soy sauce? Hardly, but this is what they do at Yashin Sushi just off Kensington High Street, and they do it well. “But if you want to …” – as the neon banner on the wall behind the sushi counter says – you can order some. The reason for the chefs doing so is to show to their diners how all the Japanese ingredients you might know really taste without the overpowering sauce.

Sushi chef at Yashin

Sushi chef at Yashin

Chef: There is a number of sushi chefs along the counter working on some impressive creations of food art. The head chefs though and also the co-founders are the ex-Nobu group chef Yasuhiro Mineno and the youthful Shinya Ikedo. Their innovative approach to sushi and other Japanese meals sparks up the London’s dining scene.

Atmosphere: Modern design, rabbit-shaped lamps, attentive service, long sushi bar and tall chairs. Yashin Sushi is a great spot to enjoy the omakase (chefs own creations of the best ingredients of the day served one after another). You can dress up or wear something casual, just leave the sneakers at home.

Large omakase sushi platter

Large omakase sushi platter

Food: Edo-style natural flavours showing dishes. First you will be served a trio of original and tiny amuse-bouche, then you can start with the tofu foamy and warming miso soup and move to one of the cold dishes.

The omakase though is really tempting. You can order from eight to 15 pieces, list all your allergies and then just enjoy the purity of the flavours. We did it after trying a number of cold and warm starters and did not leave too over-filled.

Tiny amouse bouche at Yahsin

Tiny amouse bouche at Yahsin

From the new style sashimi dishes the White Fish of the Day Carpaccio with crunchy lettuce on the top was refreshing and delicious. I would have the fish tartare with salmon eggs enriched by the creamy sauce and freshened up by a cover of chopped green chives and shiso again as it was a truly genial raw fish dish.

White fish sashimi salad

White fish sashimi salad

The generous slices of Wagyu Beef Loin slightly seared around and served with savoury truffle jelly was outstanding. The fatty meat was succulent and was wonderfully elevated by the jelly-like truffle dressing. A sip or two or red wine cut through the fatness of this dish and refresh your palate ready for the next course.

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu Beef

There are not many Maki rolls but they are nice and usually there is at least one vegetarian choice. Look for seasonal dishes as I had amazing Seared mixed mushrooms when I dined at Yashin this month.

Drinks: The wine list and sake list is good. Many of the wines are served by the glass, carafe and bottle. One of them is also the interesting Japanese pinkish Koshu from Grace vineyards. I love this wine for its freshness and delicate nature. Most of the wines are also organic or biodynamic. If you are not in the mood for alcohol, you can have the lovely green tea poured warm from a pot into your glass every time your it is empty.

Soon a new Yashin in Knightsbridge is lined up to be open, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep up the same level of attentive service as in the original one in West Kensington.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun for lunch 12:00–2:30 pm, dinner: 6:00–11:00 pm

Address: 1 Argyll Rd, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W8, UK.

Contact: Tel: +(44) 020 7938 1536

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Table at Takah

A booth table at Takah

Cuisine: Western Japanese, sushi.

Visit: February 2012

Price: High (good fish and sushi in the mountains far from the sea cannot be cheap unless they are fake, the prices at Takah are appropriate, high but not through the roof).

Takah

Takah

Atmosphere: Busy, casual and friendly. Takah is very popular between the younger generation, therefore during prominent events such as the winter X Games, not just Takah but the entire town of Aspen is full of teenagers and twenty-somethings. It is quite casual so wear anything you would in other mountain destinations.

Food: The rolls dominate the menu and Takah rally rolls them out, yet you can find other modern Japanese as well as other Asian dishes such as Pad Thai on the menu.

Starting light with either a Seaweed salad which is great or the white fish SASHIMI COLORADO STYLE with Cilantro, Serrano Chilis, Yuzu and Garlic Sauce you get yourself ready for the heavier, saucier dishes that are about to come. Both of these are quite nice, but a far toss from the excellent sashimi at the nearby Matsuhisa.

White fish sashimi with shiso

White fish sashimi with shiso

Now moving to Takah style (let’s be original and mix lots of ingredients together) with the ATOMIC LOBSTER. Tempura fried lobster is served with asparagus, masago (Capelin fish roe looking like small orange eggs that are crunchy on the palate) and Takah’s Spicy Atomic Sauce. Not sure what the Atomic means, nevertheless this was just too much of stuff together, out of balance, very sugary and intensely flavored. Some palates might like it, yet not these seeking refining taste.

Another small plate we went for was the BIG EYE TUNA TARTARE mixed with fresh basil, lemon, cucumber, tomato, shallots, garlic, ginger, mustard and ponzu sauce and served with wonton chips. First of all I always though that wontons are Chinese dumplings, I guess I was wrong. These were more like Mexican tortilla chips, so popular in California, but wonton sounds more Asian while style catering to local preferences. The tuna fish in the tartare was mediocre, we might juts have had bad luck, but we got a bad one so I cannot say anything flattering about it.

BIG EYE TUNA TARTARE with wonton chips

BIG EYE TUNA TARTARE with wonton chips

The sushi rolls are very popular at Takah. We went for and exotic blend called the DIABLO ROLL of a tempura shrimp and asparagus rolled inside, and with spicy diced tuna, serrano chilies and rich eel sauce on the outside. Yummy mash up indeed, but I cannot have this one every day. The shrimps were crunchy and tuna with chili spicy, adding a bit of diabolic fire into the roll, thus being devote to its name. Unless, I was not through my second glass of wine though I could not have more than one piece of it. Just too much of seafood – fish and shellfish, rich sauce, rice, spice, sesame seeds, … not for me, thank you.

Creative sushi roll

Creative sushi roll

Although Takah is not in Colorado the popular CALIFORNIA ROLL features on the menu along with more far-flung sounding creations such as the THAI ROLL. The sesame soy paper roll filled with spicy tuna (very popular in Takah’s ingredients), cucumber & cilantro (type of parsley) was topped with green curry coconut sauce & crushed Peanuts. that sounds to me as if I just have had a three course Thai menu in one roll! One can try the quirky named ME SO HAPPY ROLL – sounds good to me, although slightly tacky. The tempura fried sweet potato is topped with spicy tuna (here we go once again!), eel sauce and radish sprouts. Fun, but different things make different people happy, so do not take this roll’s name too seriously.

Drinks: Good selection of sake and good international wine selection (from Europe to Argentina). Napa is the main focus of the list though, which I approve of because of the more sustainable impact of bringing wines just from a nearby state versus across half of the globe. Wines from Oregon are featured as well and my penchant for their Pinot Noir brought my palate’s attention towards the ARCHERY SUMMIT, PINOT NOIR “PREMIER CUVEE” from Willamette Valley in Oregon. Lucky me, since this refreshing Pinot guided me through the intense menu, easing out the gustatory shock my subtle palate experienced throughout the dinner.
Opening Hours: Every night from 5:30 pm. The sushi bar seating is on a first come first serve basis, the rest you need to reserve.

Address: 320 S Mill St  Aspen, CO 81611, USA.

Contact: Tel: +1 (970) 925-8588

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Wá is woah – amazing. Whether you get the omakase chef’s menu or order á la carte, you will be mesmerised by the quality of ingredients and the skills of the chef.

Sushi omakase at Wa

Sushi omakase at Wa

Cuisine: Japanese, sushi and innovative Japanese cold and warm dishes.

Visit: February 2013

Price: Medium (for such a tremendous quality it is a good deal, compared to the hyped Matsuhisa south on the same road or the ultra-luxurious Urasawa on Rodeo it is a steal).

Wa sushi counter

Wa sushi counter

Chef: The trio of founding chefs from Japan come from the rare breed of chefs honing their culinary skills at the nearby Matsuhisa. As many from this herd of skilled chefs they left this legendary precursor  to the international chain of trendy Japanese restaurants Nobu (Matsuhisa) and established their own place. Wá has been at La Cienega for some years now and it has under its roof multiple dining awards mainly from the critical local press, but also from the coveted Zagat guide that gave Wá extraordinary 28 points (30 is maximum).

Creative sushi roll at Wá

Creative sushi roll at Wá

Food: Traditional with gourmet twist of the chef and superb quality of ingredients. The menu is fun as most of it are dishes you have probably never seen before. If you do not want to risk it order one of the most popular dishes highlighted on the first page. I have started with the Halibut Carpaccio and savoured the Tuna Carpaccio from the omakase of my partner and was not disappointed. The fish was fresh and the condiments (mustard sauce) perfectly matched the type of the fish.

Mozuku kelp

Mozuku kelp

My next course was more adventurous. I have ordered the Mozuku kelp that the server told me is popular in Japan (mainly in Okinawa) but not in the US for its rather “very traditional taste”. Usually majority of diners go for the dark green wakame sea weed, the flat wide noodle-shaped and slightly crunchy seaweed that is tasty only with vinegar and other condiments, yet I was pleasantly surprised by the Mozuku sea weed. Resembling super-thin soba noodles, it was slightly brownish and delicate. The chef made it savoury with sweet soy vinegar and served on a bad of jelly in a flattering glass. The omakase plate of Caviar and white fish uni was also quite adventurous yet delicious.

Uni with caviar and white fish

Uni with caviar and white fish

This time I skipped the Caviar and gold leaf crowned terrine of ankimo (monkfish liver) since I was not as keen on it last time I had it at Matsuhisa in Aspen, Colorado. It seems quite rich and fatty next to the pristine fish and seafood dishes.

Deep fried tofu trio

Deep fried tofu trio

Vegetarian options such as the sizling Mushroom tobanyaki or tofu will please the local veggie fans. It is all well-presented so not only your soul but also your aesthetical self will both be pleased. From the warm dishes I highly recommend the Agedashi tofu with pepper. The three cubes of lightly fried tofu in broth with shi-shito pepper, seaweed and condiments were soft with the sauce adding lots of freshness and depth to the neutral tofu.

Sizling Mushroom tobanyaki

Sizling Mushroom tobanyaki

One of the signature dishes the Lobster Tempura with Spicy Creamy Sauce was delicious as well. It was not as big as the dishes like this (Rock shrimp tempura) tend to be, which is highly practical because the fried lobster together with spicy creamy sauce are quite hard to digest. Therefore enjoy this yummy dish with moderation in a stylish martini glass.

Of course there are staples such as the The crispy rice and spicy tuna, but also the chef’s own take on them like in the Spicy Tuna Special of spicy tuna in shiso leaves, which is lightly fried with tempura sauce.. In the case of the crispy rice he fries it a bit more so the rice gets burning amber hues adding more richness and depth to the already distinctive tasting dish.

There are some desserts on the menu as well. In Japanese restaurants I love the Mochi ice cream so I went for it. Just ask your server for available flavours. I got mango, green tea and vanilla – all subtle and slightly sweet, mango being my favourite. Usually I like the green tea flavour, yet this time the mochi was less about the tea and more about the sweetness presumingly catering to the local American palates.

Mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream

Atmosphere: Understated, friendly and humming with coming and leaving diners popping in and out constantly. Wá is not about looks, it is a low-key dining spot on the second floor of a small strip mall above a Jiu Jitsu school and just next to 7-Eleven market. There is a parking garage downstairs for the driving guests convenience. The sushi bistro additionally offers one semi-private room with a large Tv.  There you can watch your favourite team or a Tv show with your friends while savouring the tremendous food. In the main dining room you can sit on a bar, which is ideal for the omakase, where the chef serves you one course after another as he pleases. The rest are just simple tables. Wear anything casual, even sneakers and baseball hats. I love the little details (like the one below) you can find around the restaurant.

The Ladies bathroom doll

The Ladies bathroom doll

Opening hours: Open only for dinner Tue-Sun: 6pm-11pm. Closed on Mondays.

Address: 1106 N La Cienega Blvd #201; West Hollywood, CA 90069‎, USA.

Contact: Tel: +1 (310) 854-7285

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Japanese four-course dinner

Japanese four-course dinner

Cuisine: Japanese – traditional and modern, sushi.

Location: Winterthur, Switzerland.

Chef/teacher: Yoko is from Japan, but she has been living in Switzerland for a while. She is a graduate of Tokyo Sushi Academy’s professional course and member of Japan Sushi Instructors Association since 2008, both adding credibility to her classes. She opened her cooking school at her tranquil  apartment in Winterthur near Zurich in 2007. She speaks fluently German, English and of course her native language – Japanese. She offers various types of classes from basic nigiri sushi and rolls to everyday Japanese cooking. I have done a mix of all with inside-out rolls as my preference, since I have never done them before and wanted to learn some tricks.

Yoko showing the right type of sushi rice

Yoko showing the right type of sushi rice

Overview:

I loved the hussle-free pace of the course. It was rather a meditative and tasty afternoon enhanced by insights and complementary knowledge of Japanese food and culture. Since Yoko is Japanese, she was able to answer my curious questions about anything that crossed my mind during the cooking. I learned that sushi is rather a festive meal, than an every-day lunch or dinner item. In the West many of us think that sushi is something like a staple food eaten in this exotic Eastern country. Yet, as my trip to Tokyo some years ago as well as Yoko’s testimony confirmed, there is plenty of diversity  in terms of food in Japan. And, I do not mean just a Spicy tuna on crispy rice, California maki or the Softshell crab tempura rolls one can see on the Western menus (most of them were invented abroad), but mostly the nourishing soups, delicious meat and unique vegetable dishes that are part of the dining culture across the distinct provinces of Japan. With the custom-made one-to-one class with Yoko I got an insight into both camps – the traditional and the more modern adapted to locally available ingredients and aesthetical fashions of the time.

Chicken with sesame sauce

Chicken with sesame sauce

What we cooked:

The four-course menu started with a warming cup of miso soup, whetted ones appetite with tender Chicken with sesame sauce, added a bit of fancy intermezzo of inside-out salmon and spicy tuna rolls and finally was crowned by a juicy kobe beef steak with wasabi sauce.

The miso soup with wakame and spring onion was not as easy as you might think. My general approach to this japanese staple to date was to add lots of miso paste (whatever type was available on my local store shelf) into boiling hot water, sprinkling some dried seaweed and pouring it into a bowl. Well it can taste good (depending on how good the miso paste was), but it is not how it should be made if you want to reap all the benefits this nourishing soup offers. Not only did I kill lots of the beneficial enzymes in the miso by boiling it, but also ended up with a less complex flavours in the soup. Yoko taught me to use a broth of dashi, which is boiled and then add the rest of ingredients including the miso paste by the end without boiling it. Sprinkle of spring onions on the top before serving made it look great and added freshness.

The Chicken with sesame sauce was superb! I had no idea that a simple thing like the usually boring chicken can be so fresh and tasty. We steamed the chicken breast in a silicone pot in a microwave for a couple of minutes. This is definitely a quick dinner solution for these in the rush. The silicone pot is a handy tool as it keeps moisture and the chicken does not end up dry and lifeless. The rich mayonnaise-based sesame sauce had been my favourite when I was living in Asia – I would buy it in a supermarket and put it on everything from salads to meat and sometimes even on a slice of bread instead of butter (naughty me). yet now I know how to make it fresh and how not to spoil it. Despite not being too complex, there are ways to make the sauce flabby. Whipping it consistently and adding ingredients slowly was the key to success as I learned from Yoko.

Seaweed sizes for sushi rolls

Seaweed sizes for sushi rolls

Sushi roll

Inside-out Sushi roll

Making the Inside-out roll sushi (Spicy tuna roll and Salmon roll) turned out to be easier than I thought. The difference from the classical maki is that the seaweed is inside and the rice outside. One would think that it is much harder to make the rice sticky enough so it does not fell off the roll, but if you keep in mind a number of small tricks, you will make perfect rolls like I did with Yoko (I hope I will make them as pretty on my own, so far I have successfully repeated only the chicken, miso soup and the beef recipes). Keep the measurements in check. As the pictures above show, the nori seaweed has to have the right dimensions (just crack it), but also it is useful to buy a cutting board with measurements printed on the side so you can check the width of each piece as you cut the roll. Start with cutting it half, then each half to halves and you will get eight pieces from each roll. The imperfect ends can be flipped on the plate so they still look cool or you can just eat them before serving. The rolls were the most difficult to make.

Wasabi beef steak

Wasabi beef steak

The main course was superb yet easily prepared. The Beef steak with wasabi soy sauce required finding the best quality of beef for it to be a success. Yoko’s origin is not too far from the legendary beef area of Kobe, so I believe her palate is very sensitive to a great beef. Her choice of a beautifully red and meaty rather than just fatty chunks of steak that I have enjoyed tremendously proved that my palate sensitivity is similar to hers. Pounding the meat gently through a layer of plastic sheet so it keeps its shape is crucial and then just ask your guest – rare – medium rare – or well done? And a perfect steak is ready to be served. The wasabi soy sauce is simple. Just put a knob of butter on the heated pan, add some freshly grounded wasabi (or wasabi paste), stir in some soy sauce and voila, you have a companion to your juicy flank of meat.

Me eating my Japanese creation

Eating my Japanese creations

The resulting four-course dinner I cooked with the help of Yoko was better than in many restaurants, teaching me that if one knows “how to”, then cooking at home can turn to be the best gourmet experience in town!

Yoko is thoughtful and lists her favourite shops on her website, so you can buy the right ingredients while in the area of Zurich.

You can bring your own wine or any other drink than water since Yoko clinched my thirst for the later, but she acknowledges individual preferences for other drinks. I was in Switzerland shortly and did not have time to browse local wine shops, so I missed on this great opportunity to pair my meal with great wine. I would go for a crisp Riesling or slightly oaky Chardonnay with the sushi and the chicken, and a bolder Cabernet Sauvignon or plump and fruity Malbec with the wasabi steak.

Contact: Email: info@sushi-yoko.ch. Online class calendar or via online form suitable for private classes.

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Cuisine: Japanese

Visit: December 2012

Price: Very expensive (Top CEOs, fashion models and Tv stars come to dine here in a secure and an almost invisible location).

Asparagus salad

Asparagus salad

Atmosphere: The entrance to the restaurant is very discreet and guarded by security men. One would never think that there is a restaurant behind the simply looking wall along the Rua Lisboa. As the security opens the door and you walk through a tiny garden into the first room, you know that Jun Sakamoto is not just a traditionally simple Japanese restaurant (the interior was designed by the chef after whom the restaurant was named). It is full of classy people some conservatively dressed in ties and business suites others – especially the supermodel looking youthful women – in chic evening mini-dresses or anything that is currently fashionable. If you want even more privacy then dine in the back room. Both rooms together including a sushi bar accommodate not more than 30-40 people, so it is quite small. You still will be seen by the top players on the São Paulo rich and powerful league so better dress up for that as good as you can.

Food: For how much exclusive this restaurant tries to be, the food is not even slightly comparable to any of my favorite japanese places in LA, New York, Seattle or Paris. Rumors circulate in and out of the city that there is not much of excellent japanese food in Brazil yet. I take it as an explanation of my recent disappointment at Jun Sakamoto. For the restaurant being very expensive, I will not give it likely a second chance when there are so many other great restaurants to dine at in São Paulo.

Seared mushrooms

Seared mushrooms

We got a number of starters to share and none of them had particularly impressed our taste buds. The Salmon tartare (Tuna tartare with foie gras is more popular here, but we were in the mood for salmon) was tiny, the fish was good but excellent as you would expect for the price and the sporadic portion of fish eggs on the top of it was not enough to bring more complex flavors to the dish. Continuing with a plate of fatty tuna sashimi, which was contrary to the previous too large portion of just a raw and not very tasty fish we started to worry a bit about the restaurant’s flattering reputation. The savior came in the form of the next order – the Asparagus salad, which was better and perhaps the only plate we quite enjoyed. The vegetables were fresh and crisp and the sauce was tasty.

From the warm dishes the Seared mushrooms lacked everything that was savor-appealing. I dare to claim that they were boring. Right the opposite of the vibrant and sizzling Mushroom Tobanyaki they do at Nobu restaurants elsewhere.

Black cod with miso

Black cod with miso

The staple of many Japanese restaurants globally is the Black cod with miso. After the previous unsuccessful courses we ordered exactly this dish as we thought it might be more reliable. The fish was of a good quality, the sauce though was not intense enough and much more plain than we are used to.

My partner tried the omakase sushi (ingredients selected by the chef who serves you to the point of your fullness, it shows the chef’s skills the best). They do it differently here though. You have to select how many courses you want and that is what you get. Omakase is supposed to display the chef’s innovativeness, creativity and the quality of his ingredients. The sushi we got did not look and taste exceptionally – it was rather normal, but with a high price tag.

Sushi bar

Sushi bar

Drinks: Sake and wine lists are good, although not particularly wide. You can find some less usual treats on the wine list though. We went for the Chilean Amayna Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2007. Seeing a barrel fermented version of Sauvignon Blanc is quite rare. This refreshing grape varietal made famous by the Loire Valley in France as well as New Zealand is often let to express its freshness and zest. It was one of these quirks that one tries just for the sake of its differentiating quality. Wine Spectator gave it 91 points (out of 100) to this Leyda Valley warrior. I would not go as high since the barrel overwhelmed the fruit and its acidity in a greater proportion then it should have. The new oak left some nutty and vanilla aromas in the wine while the fruit turned into something like a fig marmelade than a refreshing white peach or grass that you can typically taste in wines made from this grape varietal. The depth though complement the raw fish quite well. With japanese food I would rather go for an oaky Chardonnay or a Gewurtztraminer from Alsace.

Opening hours: Only for dinner: Mon-Thu: 7pm-12.30am; Fri & Sat: 7pm-1am; Closed on Sunday.

Address: Rua Lisboa 55, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil.

Contact: Tel: +(55) 11 3088 6019

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Cusine: Japanese traditional.

Visit: October 2012.

Price: High (high quality ingredients for Japanese cuisine are always expensive).

The food at the Hong Kong Japanese club cannot be other than very authentic, so it may surprise the Nobu and Zuma devotees with its straightforward and simple style. That often in Japanese restaurants means that only top-notch ingredients must be used in preparation as it is these that stand out. It is quite a similar approach as in Italian cuisine where the raw ingredients and their simple preparation play the main roles.

Sashimi at HK Japanese Club

At the Japanese Club in Hong Kong one can experience throughly the authentic Japanese sit down lunch or dinner. You can eat either in a common room or in one of the private rooms with the traditional concept of sit-on-the-floor by your table. Be prepared to take off your shoes for this, so no teddy bears or red hearts on your socks this time!

Food: Sashimi is the simplest thing one can order. Just a well-sliced piece of fish or seafood and a bit of ice to serve it on, yet it is this simplicity that shows the most about any restaurant. How fresh, succulent and tasty a piece of sashimi is determined by a daily trail of the chef to the fish market or ability to ship the fish from abroad frequently. Some chefs have done a marvelous job with their sourcing ( Urasawa in LA, Dinings in London, Shiro in Seattle, Soto in New York) while some have to mask the imperfections of their fish and seafood with hefty sauces. At the Japanese Club they do not do the later, but one has to know which piece of sashimi to order if you want the best of the best. The salmon was delicious, melting in my mouth like a succulent chunk of fish, but I was disappointed by the toro, the white fish and mackerel. The raw shrimps were delicious though.

Simmering mushrooms and deep fried tofu

Moving to warm dishes I must confess that the Sautéed mushrooms were perhaps the best I have ever had. I ate two plates of them and I could not have enough how great they were. Another vegetarian treat was the Deep-fried tofu with ponzu sauce that was so perfectly balanced, far from oily or mushy as some tofu dishes tend to be.

Perhaps the most different and intriguing for all the dishes we had on that occasion was the Salmon with fermented tofu sauce. This smoky fermented soy bean is called “natto” in Japan and is supposedly very popular between the local people, yet its distinct aroma often deters foreigners. Do not be fooled by the aroma as it tastes really good. The savoury umami taste was dominant and charming in this dish, yet it was balanced by some spicy wasabi paste, white sesame seeds and dried seaweed to create the most complex army of flavours you can imagine. A glass of white wine or sake with this is a must for me as much as with sashimi to help to calm down the richness of the meal. The acidity in white wine is the key to d exactly that.

Salmon with smoked tofu sauce

We also had a Grilled mackerel, but it was not my sort of thing as it was quite bony and fishy. In this dish a vibrant sauce would help it a lot. On the other hand the Grilled Cod Fish Saikyo-miso flavored was excellent. From the sides I liked the Rolled egg omelet as it was so yummy and great palate-soother after all the fish we had.

Rolled omelet

From the deserts the Vanilla,Green tea and Yuzu ice creams were all excellent and the Sweet red bean with rice dumplings was revealing and not too sweet so I could slurp the entire bowl with ease.

Drinks: You can drink wine, yet sake is impeccable here. The selection is as wide as a wine list at a Michelin-stared restaurant. We chose two magnums of Manjyu Kubota sake. It was so delicate, perfectly balanced and palate friendly sake that five of us drunk it like fish jumping into a well in an African desert. Manju  means “Ten Thousand Years Life” in Japanese and it is the highest quality sake among the brand (Kubota in this case).  My japanese friend also disclosed that it’s produced by Asahi-Shuzo Sake Brewing Co., Ltd., which was established in 1830. Well, it is an old company, even older than many wineries in Europe!

A magnum of sake

Address: 19/F, Paliburg Plaza, 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Contact: Tel: +(852) 2577 3669

Reservations are possible only for these of you coming along with at least one member of the club.

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