February 9, 2023

Off by one day

Pin It

A friend has been eating his way around Japan, and among his social media posts was a picture of conger eel fry (ノレソレ). As the season for this is relatively short, I immediately thought of the first time I enjoyed this delicacy - around a year ago at Sushi Shikon by Yoshitake (すし 志魂). I figured I could try my luck and see if it's available again there, so I quickly made a booking for dinner tonight. As I don't really know Kaki-san, I never thought about messaging him before showing up.

The restaurant remembered our dietary restrictions, and reminded Kaki-san before service started. It's always nice to see this level of service at a restaurant of this caliber.

I took one look at the menu and knew that I wasn't gonna get the item I most wanted. I asked Kaki-san about it, which was when he told me that it will be on the menu STARTING TOMORROW. AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shirako Sea urchin with Japanese buckwheat nut - BABY, THIS AIN'T WHAT YOU CAME FOR! Not only was the first dish NOT conger eel fry, it was originally FISH CUM! Thankfully we did not have any in our bowls, as sea urchin had been used as a substitute. Served on a bed of braised buckwheat and topped with leeks, "baby onion" (I'll assume Kaki-san meant pearl onions), caviar, and a dab of wasabi. This was nice and warm, which is comforting and a great way to settle the stomach before the other dishes come.

Sea bream (真鯛) - the first piece was brushed with some salt water, with a few drops of sudachi (酢橘) juice on top, as well as marinated sea cucumber innards (海鼠腸). The fish came thick cut with a slight crunch.

Sea bream (真鯛) - the second piece was even thicker but still very tender, and we were asked to use the soy sauce and wasabi.

Japanese style tender octopus (蛸) - very tender as expected, which comes from the supposed hour-long massage that the dead cephalopod gets before getting cooked.

Dried mullet roe mochi (唐墨餅) - the mullet roe was sandwiched with very thin wafers of mochi (餅) which had been charcoal grilled until they started puffing up in the middle (like they should). This was then drenched in a bonito glaze that was quick starchy but tasty, and sprinkled with fragrant yuzu (柚子) zest and mullet roe powder. As expected, there was some bitterness in the aftertaste from the roe, but I really do love it.

Steamed abalone with abalone liver sauce - this was so, so, so tender but still got that very springy bounce.

The abalone liver sauce was very thick, and in fact seemed thicker than I remembered. Foursheets thought the color looked like avocado, but I think she was just confusing Kaki-san's version with the one from Kubota-san at Sushi Saito Hong Kong...

Grilled rosy seabass with fish broth congee - the rosy seabass (赤睦), sometimes known as 喉黒, was charcoal grilled with a sea salt crust. The fish itself was, of course, very succulent. The congee made with Japanese rice was braised with a fish bone broth, and accompanied by egg yolk, soy sauce, and sansho leaves (木の芽).

Cuttlefish (墨烏賊) - the neta (ネタ) consisted of 3 very thin layers of the cuttlefish, each scored in a criss-cross pattern on both sides with 20ish cuts each way. This means that each slice of cuttlefish is scored between 90-100 times, and explain why it almost feels like the cuttlefish has been liquefied and has a texture akin to jelly. The warmth of the shari (シャリ) was immediately obvious, as was the red vinegar used. With this neta it's also common to feel the kick of the wasabi a little more. Very good start to the nigiri (握り) part of our meal.

Sea bream (真鯛) - our substitute for baby tuna (メジマグロ). Thick cut again but still very tender, with some connective myosepta providing chewiness.

Golden eye snapper (金目鯛) - the golden alfonsino was very, very tender, with just a tiny bit of crunch on the edges.

A new batch of shari was delivered for the next few pieces.

Gizzard shad (小鰭) - Kaki-san added a little oboro (朧) between the shari and the neta, which brought a little sweetness to the blend of salt and acidity in the neta.

Mackerel roll (鯖棒鮨) - there was hardly any space for rice in the middle of the roll, what with pickled ginger, kanpyo (干瓢), sesame... etc. The thick skin delivered quite a nice bite, and there was a good, satisfying crunch from the fish.

Sea urchin (雲丹) - the shari, which had a much stronger vinegar flavor, had Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) mixed in. This was then topped with purple sea urchin (紫雲丹) that was, of course, much more rich and creamy.

At this point, one of the couple next to us decided to leave the restaurant to have a smoking break. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! It was bad enough that the guy was bragging the whole evening to try to impress the girl, but this was absolutely disgraceful and rude! WELL, I HAVE NEVER!

Tiger prawn (車海老) - with some prawn tomalley (海老味噌), and the vinegar was definitely stronger here. But the sweetness of the prawn still came through.

Sea eel (穴子) - served as a roll as always, with narazuke (奈良漬け).

Abalone hand roll (鮑手巻き) - our substitute for fatty tuna (大トロ), just like our first visit. You know what? I'd take this over fatty tuna any single day.

Castella egg (カステラ玉子)

Miso soup (味噌椀) - can you believe I didn't take a picture of this?

Strawberry daifuku (いちご大福) - happy to have this again.

Unlike the guy next to us bragging about the exclusive sake he was drinking, I simply brought a humble little Champagne.

Krug Grande Cuvée, 170ème Édition, ID 221035 - very classic, very toasty nose with lots of brioche, very nutty. Good acidity with a little ripeness on the palate.

Well... I didn't get what I came for, but I still had a very good meal. They do have the ingredient on premise, but it hasn't been prepped so I could not have ordered it as an extra. I guess next time I will be a little bolder and ask Kaki-san ahead of time about it. Maybe next year...

1 comment:

Markus Schmidt said...

thank you for the review. Good to know Kaki-san is still in form, and I am glad I booked ahead for our April trip to HK...


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map