After a long bout with gastritis - and days of eating a lot of bread with water - I found myself craving for something a little more satisfying. I've been thinking about sushi for a few weeks now, as it's been a while since I last had something decent. Then there's the fact that it's been baby gizzard shad season, and I really love them. The question comes down to picking out a place in Hong Kong that would have the right supplier for that.
I remembered that I had the pleasure of having it prepared by Masa-san at Rozan (鮨魯山) 3 years ago, so I figured that would be a logical place to try. I called to make a reservation. No answer. OK, it's past 10 p.m. I'll call the next day during the day. Still no answer, at an hour where someone should be in the restaurant prepping for lunch. Called during lunch service, and still the call went straight to a mobile phone number's voice mail. After 4 or 5 attempts, I gave up. I know that this restaurant isn't hard up on money, nor does it need to fill every seat, but seriously... How do you even do business when nobody picks up the fucking phone?!
Fortunately, my friends know the manager in charge of Uncle Peter's restaurants, and they ended up making the reservation by contacting him. I, too, was given the manager's business card once, but I don't know the guy well enough to call him on his mobile for a reservation. Whatever the case, at least we got ourselves seats at the counter.
We placed our order and the staff asked us about any dietary restrictions. Out of habit, Hello Kitty and I shake our heads... but we would later realize our mistake. We were, after all, dining at a top-end sushi restaurant.
A trio of amuse bouches start us off:
this one in Gyodoike 魚道生 in Taipei), Masa-san completely diced the squid into little cubes. Some of the chunks were very soft, but others were surprisingly crunchy and chewy. Drizzled with a little sudachi (酢橘) juice, then sprinkled with some yuzu (柚子) rind, black (charcoal?) salt, and a dab of horseradish (山わさび). Very nice. Maybe my memory is failing, but I don't remember the shari having so much dark vinegar on my visit 3 years ago. I think the acidity was definitely a little more pronounced today.
At this point I realized my mistake. Why did I say that I had no dietary restrictions, when I clearly do at high-end sushi restaurants? If I am asked, I would certainly ask the chef not to serve me any form of tuna. But I was a little late, as the first piece had already been sliced.
So we cabbed over, found ourselves seated at the counter, and ordered up a few skewers. And continued our drinking.
Kelp with herring roe (子持ち昆布) - always one of my favorites. Just love how the fish eggs deliver that crunchy and springy texture when I bite down into this!
I decided to order a couple of fruity