Dinner @ Sushi Kimura [Revisit]

November 11, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

My first meal at Sushi Kimura was in 2017. That’s when they were still in their first month of operation and before they were awarded 1 Michelin star. So when my siao-on instagram foodie friends (who are also big fans of chef-owner Tomoo Kimura) suggested heading to Sushi Kimura for dinner, I was up for it. One could also say I was curious; From the photographs which others posted of Sushi Kimura on instagram, the food was looking better with time.

Being a group of 5 and only wanting head chef Tomoo san, our first preferred date for dinner was not available. So yes, one should plan in advanced if coming in big group and wish to have head chef Tomoo san.

Though not late for our dinner appointment, I was the last in our group to reach the restaurant. And of course my ‘siao on’-sters had already placed order since we dined together often enough to know we would all be going for the omakase menu (I am assuming they ordered Oribe, $330). And with that, we started our dinner with:-


1) Dish #1 (above) – Salmon roe (ikura), tofu skin (yuba) and dashi jelly.


2) Dish #2 (above, left) – Steamed egg (chawanmushi) with Hokkaido hairy crab and Hokkaido sweet corn.

  

3) Dish #3 (above) – Abalone (awabi) with sauce made with its liver. And to clean up the remaining liver sauce properly, we were given a spoonful of sushi rice (shari). However, I didn’t know we would be given rice and had scarped clean whatever that’s left of the sauce with my fork. Oops. But thankfully head chef Tomoo san given me additional sauce. Yeah! Haha.


    

4) Dish #4 (above) – Autumn’s seasonal vegetables with sashimi assortment of grouper, blue marlin (kajiki), giant clam (ishigakigai) and spotted prawn (botan ebi). It was a funny lame moment when I went “so pretty” as head chef Tomoo san placed the ishigakigai on my plate and my friend responded with “imagine if a guy say you are as pretty as an ishigakigai.” (^^|||)

5) Dish #5 (above) – Binchotan grilled sanma, green pepper and edamame.


6) Dish #6 (above) – Salmon roe in sac (sujiko), violet sea urchin (murasaki uni) from Yoichi, short spine urchin (bafun uni) from Hamanaka and crisp seaweed.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Mozuku seaweed, jellyfish, Hokkaido swimmer crab in sweet vinegar sauce.

  
  
  
  
  

8) Dish #8 (above) – Nigiri sushi assortment of 3 year old yellow tail (inada), striped jack (shima aji), striped bonnito (hagatsuo), marinated tuna (akami zuke), ‘binchotan coal’ seared premium tuna belly (aburi otoro), unicorn leatherjacket (usuba-hagi) with its liver, pacific saury (sanma), barracuda (kamas), salmon roe in sac (sujiko) and cuttlefish (ika). It’s also to note of the pieces served, 3 were ordered as extra pieces (sanma, sujiko and ika). And I really enjoyed the aburi otoroo. It’s interesting how head chef Tomoo san used a few thinly sliced otoroo instead of a thick slice. Yum.

  

9) Dish #9 (above) – Instead of the signature rice bowl, we were given hand roll. And for the cut of tuna, we were told it’s from the flesh right by the red muscle (chiai-gishi maguro).

10) Dish #10 (above) – Soup.

11) Dish #11 (above) – Egg omelette (tamago).

12) Dish #12 (above) – Homemade red bean paste and rice cake (mochi) which we were to eat with the wafer biscuit (monaka), grape and musk melon.

It was a great dinner at 1 Michelin star Sushi Kimura. Noting beat the fun company of my siao-on instagram foodie friends. In fact, I was a little apologetic to the other customers because we were slightly noisy whilst communicating among ourselves and with the very friendly head chef Tomoo san.

And with the few extra items ordered, dinner came up to a total of $380 (per head).

SUSHI KIMURA 鮨来村
390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, #01-07, Singapore
6734 3520, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tue – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tue – Sun : 19:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Sushi Saito (Hong Kong)

October 28, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

My August 2018 trip to Hong Kong came about because of Sushi Saito. Yes, Sushi Saito! I read about chef-owner Takashi Saito of Sushi Saito opening an outlet in Hong Kong in March 2018. But imagine my surprise when my friend suddenly sent me a text in mid March saying “I am invited to HK Sushi Saito for priority reservation. Interested?” Of course! That goes without saying!!! And with that, my friend went ahead and made reservation for us.

For lunch, 14 nigiri sushi and soup were served for HKD1480. As for dinner, Sushi Saito served 6 kinds of appetisers and 10 nigiri sushi with soup at HKD3280. Our choice? My friend and I went with dinner. And between the 2 seatings (6pm and 8.30pm), we went with the first seating. But to secure our reservation, we had to make a deposit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it with credit card. But thankfully I had a friend working in Hong Kong who helped us with the bank transfer.


Needless to say, it was with much excitement that my friend and I arrived at the restaurant. With only 1 menu that was made known to us previously, we started our omakase dinner (HKD3280) with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Horsehair crab (kegani).

2) Dish #2 (above) – Abalone (awabi) and octopus (tako).


3) Dish #3 (above) – 3 types of sea urchin. Starting from the top and in clockwise direction was short spine (bafun) from Hokkaido, red (aka) from Kyushu and violet (murasaki) from Hokkaido. The red sea urchin was awesome. Our favourite of the 3. And I further read that the plate used was 九谷燒 made during the Meiji period. Wow.


  

4) Dish #4 (above) – Mackerel stick sushi (saba bozushi) with crispy seaweed (nori).

5) Dish #5 (above) – Monkfish liver (ankimo).


6) Dish #6 (above) – Grilled tuna’s back cheek (kama-toro) with grated radish, served alongside eggplant.

  
  
  
  
  
  

7) Dish #7 (above) – Nigiri sushi assortment of big-eye snapper (kinmedai), striped jack (shima-aji) with chopped spring onion, gizzard shad (kohada), baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi), 2 weeks aged tuna (akami), premium fatty tuna (otoro), squid (ika), horse mackerel (aji), short spine sea urchin (bafun uni), and clam (hamaguri).

8) Dish #8 (above) – Soup.


9) Dish #9 (above) – Thick sushi roll (futomaki) of kanpyō (pickled gourd), cucumber, sea urchin (uni), sea eel (anago), tiger prawn (kuruma-ebi) and egg omelette (tamago).

  

10) Dish #10 (above) – Egg omelette (tamago) which interestingly had 2 different textures.

11) Dish #11 (above) – Musk melon.

For someone like me who could only dream of eating at Sushi Saito Tokyo, dining at Sushi Saito Hong Kong was an equally beautiful dream come true. But of course my dining experience could not be compared to the authentic ‘Sushi Saito experience’ as we didn’t have chef Saito san himself since he had to be back at his flagship outlet. Instead, the Hong Kong outlet was led by chef Ikuya Kobayashi who came from the Tokyo team.

Nonetheless, I was thrilled to finally try Sushi Saito’s signature dishes which Koba san brought to the table as close as he possibly could to Tokyo’s. Was super stoked to taste the cooked octopus (dish #2) and egg omelette (dish #10). In addition to the food that excited us, my friend and I had a fun time interacting with smiley and friendly Koba san.

Would I recommend Sushi Saito Hong Kong? Honestly… It’s my most expensive meal to date. And if one wants to be really picky and compare the price between Sushi Saito Hong Kong and Sushi Saito Tokyo, one could easily say it’s a total rip off. But! I was happy to part with the money because I am a huge sushi-lover and this would be the closest I could ever get to try ‘anything Saito’ since one needs to be a regular or be accompanied by a regular to dine at Sushi Saito Tokyo.

That said, even if one wish to dine at Sushi Saito Hong Kong, I was told by my friend that reservation at Sushi Saito Hong Kong is very much exclusive too. But do refer to their website for updates on the reservation process.

SUSHI SAITO HONG KONG
8 Finance Street, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 45/F, Central, Hong Kong
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 13:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:15 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8

Dinner @ Sushi 27 鮨二七 (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

September 23, 2018 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

So when I flew to Taiwan in August 2018, I chose to fly into Kaohsiung instead of Taipei. The main reason was really because the flight ticket was cheaper. $150 difference kie… But of course, I was happy to fly into Kaohsiung since I wanted to visit Sushi 27.

Reservation was made by dropping the restaurant a message on Facebook. During which, I was informed there was 2 menus; Business lunch (商業午餐, NT$1800) and chef’s menu (主廚套餐, NT$3800). I was also informed to give the restaurant a call upon my arrival in Taiwan to re-confirm my reservation else it would be cancelled. To make the call wasn’t a problem since I got myself a SIM card in Taiwan.

It was a 30 minutes journey by MRT followed by a 15 minutes by foot from Kaohsiung International Airport to Sushi 27. And since I pre-selected my menu, I started my omakase lunch (NT$3800) with:-

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Photographs posted according to sequence of dishes served

My lunch experience at Sushi 27 fell short of my high expectation which was built up from the raves by some pretty-known instagrammers.

I guess the main reason of the lacklustre meal was because head chef Chen Wei-Jen wasn’t in. The sushi made by sous chef was really bad; It threatened to break apart every time I picked it up with my fingers. I had to be really gentle and careful. And fast too. Uh huh. It was a race to put the sushi into my mouth.

And after having read so much about head chef Chen’s saba-bozushi, I left the restaurant even more disappointed as it was not available. I was told it wasn’t prepared because there were only 4 people during my lunch seating. Sigh.

But I’ll be honest… I will still head back to Sushi 27 when I return to Kaohsiung. But that’s only because I really want to try head chef Chen’s sushi. And yes, his saba bozushi too. I guess I just have to make sure he is in when I return. And my meal came up to NT$4180 after tax and service charge.

SUSHI 27 鮨二七
No. 27, Yongming Street, Lingya District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
+886 7 211 9262, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon, Wed – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30
Ambience: 7
Mon, Wed – Sun : 18:00 – 22:00
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Tues