June 5, 2009

A new sushi joint in town

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It's been a while since the Lunch Club got together, and we decided to do something a bit different. A couple of friends had been strongly recommending Sushi U (鮨雄), and our Froggie had checked it out earlier in the week based on my advice. So here we are.

The restaurant was bigger than I imagined, and we had a table all the way in the back. The place quickly filled up with diners, and the noise level soon became deafening thanks to our neighbors.

I read about the sushi and sashimi lunch sets as being very good value, but I wanted something slightly different. The Hokkaido rice bowl (北海道ちらし) turned out to be pretty good. While at first glance it didn't seem to be as generous as the other choices on the menu, it was extremely tasty. In addition to the thick cuts of local favorites like hamachi, salmon, amaebi (甘蝦) and the scallops that Hokkaido is famous for, there was also a decent amount of uni (雲丹) and ikura (イクラ). The uni was very sweet and delicious, and the ikura - after having been treated - had a particular taste that was particularly yummy. I was already pretty happy when our Froggie offered me her amaebi as she is not a fan.

As for the other items that came with the set, the salad was simple but there was something about that dressing that made an impression. The marinated burdock (牛蒡) was yummy with a tiny bit of chilli peppers. The chawan mushi(茶碗蒸し) was nice but the real surprise was the miso soup. In addition to the dried tofu, there were thin slices of winter melon (冬瓜) in the soup, which serves to cool the body down in the summer.

The final surprising touch was the ice cream. While I opted for the small cup of coffee, my friend seemed satisfied with her green tea ice cream. This would seem quite ordinary until you realize that the bowl itself has been chilled so that the ice cream doesn't melt easily. It's little touches like this which shows that the chef and manager really cares - something you see often in Japan but seldom outside.

It was a very simple yet satisfying meal. I can't remember the last time a Japanese set lunch had been so enjoyable!

6 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Peter, I LOVED the uni at Sushi U - and there was a generous portion of it on the sashimi platter that we shared between three of us. It was $900 but the selection and quality were just amazing. If you're ever interested in going for omakase, count me in! I also love omakase at Sushi Kuu but only when Satoru is there.

ttyl,
susan

Eric said...

Agree...Sushi U is one to watch! Taka-san is a pleasure to watch work his craft. Omakase is $1200 but they are offering some grand opening discounts :)

My only gripe is the maitre 'd will sell you the most expensive sake/shochu if you're not careful. We were drinking a $400 bottle and wanted/needed another but were told that was the last of that brand. We asked for a suggestion for another..

When he brought it and was preparing to open it, we realized it was a $2500 bottle. When we said something he immediately pulled another $500 bottle out that he had brought with him (but didn't show us) so we knew he was trying something. My wife, who is a Tokyo native, let him know we caught him.

Shermoo said...

Sushi U or Imarura?

Peech said...

Never had lunch at Imamura and haven't had dinner at Sushi U...so can't really compare the two

Janine C said...

hi Peter, my vote would go to Imamura (or Toku) for dinner and lunch at Sushi U. dinner at Sushi U was comparatively lacklustre - we tried the omakase which was ok but the fish wasn't a huge step above from what was served at lunch so i'm sticking to the stupendous lunch deal)

Shermoo said...

went for lunch today, the don @ $220 is incredible, the sushi set @250 is equally impressive!!

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