Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Sushi with Heavy Taste
The place was fairly full when I arrived at the beginning of normal lunch hour, with both of their sushi counters about half-occupied. Luckily they still had space available for me walking in, and I was seated at the far end of the counter manned by Chef Mori himself.
For a traditional sushi restaurant, they do have a surprisingly big menu - one could go for the basic sushi set, a bowl of chirashi-don, or something more elaborate, similar to their omakase set, their only choice available during dinner time. I picked somewhere in the middle, a "mini omakase" with a dozen of sushi items or so, with appetizer, soup and dessert. I figured I needed something substantial while letting me finish the meal within an hour.
A couple customers at the counter sat down and ordered earlier than I did, so understandably Chef Mori made a few pieces for them first before starting to prepare mine so everyone was kept at around the same pace.
Don't just take this comment thinking I didn't like the place nor the food. I sort of understand the reasons behind the "heavy taste" - most local customers judged the quality of fish by its fattiness and rich flavors, so I took Chef Mori adjusted his selection only to suit local palates, and the liberal use of seasonings - while somewhat unconventional - did bring up a new dimension of flavors to the sushi pieces.
Service and logistics-wise, I think the serving speed was a bit slow with long wait in between pieces - partly because Chef Mori was the only one working behind a super long counter with many customers, each with different order and pace - but otherwise it's good. And he also sort of "hit his own foot with a stone" when he seated me at the far end, leaving three empty spaces between me and the next customer. At first I thought someone have reserved those seats but surprisingly they were left unoccupied the entire time I was there. Didn't bother me much but I just found this arrangement peculiar, as every time he finished preparation, he had to walk a longer distance to serve. But he seems to be all cool and handled all the orders well.
Overall I still think the lunch was proper and decent and arguably of good value, but as I walked out the door, I was suddenly reminded of the slogan adopted by a cosmetic brand, "Less is More". Maybe this held true in cooking sometimes too.
My previous visit: http://g4gary.blogspot.com/2014/07/july-1-lunch-sushi-mori-tomoaki.html
When? October 14 2015
Where? Sushi Mori Tomoaki, Ground Floor, 8-23 Shell Street, North Point, Hong Kong