December 11, 2017

Impromptu sushi

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A friend is in town from Beijing and in dire need of some good food.  The request came for sushi, and with such a last-minute request for a Monday, Hello Kitty decided to book us seats at Sushi Ima (今鮨).  Not having been here before, I was hoping that I could have a light dinner by getting myself one of those nigiri sets one often finds at sushi restaurants.  No such luck tonight...  Only two omakase sets are available at dinner, so I picked the lighter option without otsumami (おつまみ).

Starter consisted of two pieces of dried sea cucumber stomach, as well as diced scallops and mantle with what seemed to be truffle sauce.

Striped beakfish (石鯛) - topped with ponzu (ポン酢) jelly, some seaweed (生のり), and perilla flowers.  Pretty nice to have some acidity and umami together.

Thread-sail filefish (皮剥) - as usual this came with sauce made from the fish's own liver, but also came with a good sprinkle of sesame seeds and very young scallions.

Golden alfonsino (金目鯛) - lightly torched at the edges.  Really, really fatty as expected.  Love how the skin gleams under the light.

Oyster (牡蠣) - from Hokkaido.  Very fat and meaty.  Smoked with cherry wood, which imparted flavors not dissimilar to those of smoked oysters in tins.

Botan shrimp (牡丹海老) - served with shrimp tomalley.

Winter yellowtail (寒鰤) - winter is when yellowtail fatten up in the cold waters and deliver a nice and crunchy texture.  Torched.

Seikogani (香箱蟹) - it's nice to have this seasonal delicacy again.  The snow crab (ズワイ蟹) meat was mixed with tomalley as well as the ovaries, while the eggs were placed on top.  The presentation here was pretty interesting, as the chef decided to put a river crab (沢蟹) together with the bigger crab.  Very delicious.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - opening the lid of the cute container revealed a couple of large tongues of sea urchin on top of shari (シャリ).  Sweet and creamy, and nice with a sprinkle of charcoal salt.

Monkfish liver (あん肝) - very soft and wobbly.  Soooo delicious as it melted in my mouth.

Bonito (鰹) - a replacement for tuna.  Pretty nice when it's a little torched.

Sujiko (筋子) - WOW!  What a dish!  The salmon roe - still with membrane attached - wasn't as salty as many other versions around town.  So much umami here...  The grated Japanese red radish on top was nice, but what really made the dish was - you guess it - the BLING BLING GOLD FOIL!!!!

Broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次) - torched and served with a slice of liver as well as shavings of mullet roe (カラスミ).  Of course, torching a fatty fish just melts the delicious fat.

Rosy seabass (喉黒) - another replacement for tuna.  Torched and completely delicious, even without the little dab of caviar on top.

Roughscale sole (鮫鰈) - the wing was torched, which again melted the fat into completely deliciousness.  With some Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) beneath the rice.

Fish soup - I was pretty full and wasn't gonna have the soup, but it turns out that this was much better than your run-of-the-mill miso soup.

Musk melon - very ripe and sweet.

This was more food than I had wanted tonight, but I gotta admit that it was pretty damn delicious. 

My dinner would have ended here, were it not for the sudden appearance of a glass of red wine in front of me. Mr and Mrs Birdiegolf were having dinner nearby, and they decided to ask staff at their restaurant to bring over a glass of wine to me. It was a little unusual...

1967 Cheval Blanc, en magnum - a little smoky and earthy.  Good acidity here, but a little short on the palate... and a bit savory. 

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