February 21, 2018

9 up for lunch

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It's the first day of the year of the dog where all of us are in the office, so naturally we decided to have ourselves a team lunch.  The boys weren't gonna go for another round at the local Tsui Wah (翠華), so they concocted a plan to get some sushi at company expense.  This time around, Sushi Ima (今鮨) won because of its close proximity to the office...

But things did not get off to a good start.  Upon arrival at the restaurant, I informed the chubby manager of the surname of our booking and that we were four.  He immediately asked for the phone number associated with the booking.   I couldn't remember the number off hand, and was about to point to the reservation recorded on their books - but the guy started to block me from looking at the book...

SERIOUSLY?!  WTF? Half the seats in this small sushi restaurants have already been taken, so how many reservations for 4 people under Mr. X could there be?!  Do I look like some random asshole who just walked in to take someone else's reservation?  Sheesh...

I reached out to my friend who is a regular here, and yup, she doesn't think much of him, either...

I'm doing quite a few big meals this week, so I decided to just take the 9-piece omakase sushi set.

I was a little surprised that the first otsumami (おつまみ) that came was pickled mustard stem (榨菜).

Then came our chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し), with crab, chicken, and shiitake mushrooms.

Then came a plate of four pieces of nigiri sushi (握り寿し):

Japanese glass shrimp (白海老) - I thought they had overdone it in terms of chopping the shrimp.  The texture was now more similar to a paste... pretty mushy.  Nice yuzu (柚子) flavors here, with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top.

Spotted knifejaw (石垣鯛) - with shaved yuzu zest on top.

Striped jack (縞鰺) - garnished with sansho leaves (木の芽) which turned out to be surprisingly bland.

Scallop (帆立貝) - the scallop itself was pretty sweet, and interestingly scored.  Served with a dab of truffle paste.

I had a few pieces of ginger to cleanse my palate.  These had a surprising amount of kick.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - from Hokkaido.  Served with charcoal salt on top.  Decent, but I was hoping for a little better.

Then came the last four pieces:

Horse mackerel (鯵) -a beautiful piece of fish, with spring onion sprouts (芽ねぎ) and diced raw onions in ponzu (ポン酢).

Yellowtail (鰤) - with chiffonade of deep-fried spring onions.  Pretty nice.

Black cod (銀鱈) - torched to liquefy the fat, and served with shaved bottarga (カラスミ) on top.

Righteye flounder wing (鰈縁側) - also torched to melt the fat and let it soak into the rice.  Absolutely delicious.

Yuzu sorbet (柚子シャーベット)

Not quite as satisfying as it could be... but when you're a cheapskate (even though it's on company expense) and on a diet, that's bound to happen...

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