June 3, 2021

Separated at lunch

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I had occasion to take a business lunch today, and somehow found my way to Sushi Sase Hanare (鮨 佐瀬 はなれ), now in their new location not far from my office.  My last visit to their old location was more than 3 years ago, and I realize that since then I've satisfied my sushi fix mainly at one place in town...

We didn't want to take the extended menu, as we figured it would be too much food. So the straightforward set lunch it is...

The otsumami (お摘み) was a cold egg custard with salmon roe (イクラ) on top.

The 15 pieces of nigiri followed.  One thing that hit me - after having gotten used to one particular style of sushi for the last couple of years - was that in addition to the shari (シャリ) being on the small side, the serving temperature was noticeably lower... and the vinegar was not as prominent. 

Squid (墨烏賊) - with some grated bottarga (唐墨) on top.

Horse mackerel (鯵) - with a little dab of asatsuki (浅葱) on top.

Bonito (鰹) - nicely aged and very tender, especially after scoring.

Striped jack (縞鰺) - the condiment on top was a mix of mountain wasabi (山山葵), katsuobushi (鰹節), and spring onions.

Cockle (鳥貝) - this was so-so.

Clam soup - clams' got sand.  Blegh.

Sweet shrimp (甘エビ) - the land time I saw this on the menu at a sushi restaurant was... here.

Cherry salmon (桜鱒) - from Hokkaido. Nice and tender.

Purple sea urchin (紫雲丹)

Flounder wings (縁側) - torched so the fat melted.

Monkfish liver (鮟肝)

Broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次) - lightly torched, with liver and crab tomalley (蟹味噌) on top.

Lean tuna (あかみ) - I didn't tell the restaurant my preference not to have tuna, so here we go.

Fatty tuna (トロ) - very, very soft and melt-in-the-mouth.

Eel (鰻) 

Egg (卵) - a little more savory than expected.

Ten-soba (天蕎麦) - not sure why they always serve some noodle at the end, but maybe it is meant to fill you up if the small pieces of sushi aren't enough.

Green tea monaka (緑茶最中) - meh. The shell wasn't crispy at all. The mochi (餅) on the side was also not interesting.

Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 23% (獺祭「純米大吟醸」磨き二割三分), from 300ml - pretty soft on the palate, classic fermented rice notes.

I think I'll stick to my usual haunts when it comes to sushi.

P.S. What is it about these Hong Kong uncles who try to impress younger (but not young) women at lunch?

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