Saturday, October 22, 2011
Traditional Flavors At Shinji
No Tatsuya tonight. Last 2 weeks were full of it and I wanted something different. Was kinda craving for traditional Edomae flavors in my sushi and sashimi. To Shinji it was for a dependable dinner. The sake was optional, but we succumbed to a delicious crispy bottle, not like we plebeians know anything about it. It's really about the food.
Chef Oshino was in a whimsical mood tonight and insisted that I took photos of his face instead of chopping it off the way I always do. So he posed for me, well knowing I'd put it on twitter or the blog. "Make sure I look handsome eh!" Errrrrr....okaaaaaay. Actually, I was laughing so much till the photo's slightly blurred. Forgot to turn on continuous mode and it isn't an SLR, so I didn't want to ask to take a second shot.
Always a lovely parade of sashimi and sushi. Each is an exquisite gem when chewed, ooze different divine flavors that would gently pamper the tastebuds. Eat with your fingers. That's always the best way to do so in good sushi restaurants. I got another fix of raw prawns. But the chef gave me extra tiny pieces. The friends got regular sized stuff. Doh. But I got 2 servings of of their super tasty chawanmushi because I really like it.
The chef also stirred up an ikura uni (Hokkaido) don for us and told us it couldn't be fully compared to the one we had at Sushi Kanesaka because those ingredients were effectively, straight from the sea. Then there was abalone. Crunchy tender, it was awesome. Well, I like abalone done in most ways. Heh.
Chef Oshino plonked a slab of tuna cheek in front of me and told us that it would be made into soup. I've already declined tuna in its various cuts in sushi and sashimi earlier. So now, I really didn't dare to ask him if it was blue-fin. Save for the lighter color, it could be mistaken for a slab of marbled beef in horrid lighting. In fact, to my untrained tastebuds, upon first bite of the cooked tuna cheek, I almost thought I was ingesting beef.
Regardless of my reservations, I took the soup. Brewed in tuna stock, it was frankly, excellent. Fish stock for soup is pleasing. Done the perfect way in a good kitchen, this soup turned out clear, light and elegant. Those pieces of tuna cheek were melt-in-the-mouth tender. I savored every morsel. The friends were in agreement. We thought this to be the star item for the evening.
Another satisfying meal.