Friday, November 10, 2017

Light Sushi Lunch

I felt I needed a proper sushi lunch to satisfy my crave for Japanese food, so I made a booking at Sushi Wadatsumi in Sheung Wan for a Saturday afternoon. I have been to its predecessor, Sushi Iwa, in its old location before and thought it’s right in the middle of the pack, so I am curious how the restaurant fared, now that they have changed the name and moved to its current location in Sheung Wan, and managed to keep its Michelin star.

The restaurant looked more spacious than its old one, with a shorter counter and fewer seats, making it easier for chef to work and interact with his customers actually. For their lunch menu, there were 3 options starting with the Tsuki sushi set with 8 pieces of nigiri, then the premium Hana set with 2 additional pieces and the omakase which also came with otsumami/sashimi courses.

I was told they ran out of uni (sea urchin) which would have been included in the premium sushi set (and they offered to replace it with 2 other pieces as substitution). That made my decision much easier to just stick with the basic set with 8 pieces, just as I did last time. I am never a fan of their hotate (scallops) which was aged – I tried that once at the Tokyo shop of Sushi Iwa which the restaurant originally came from and didn’t like – so I told the chef to skip the piece for us. Then our chef began serving along with two other group of customers on either side of us, who arrived a bit earlier and well into their sushi courses just as we ordered.

After the bowl of wakame (marinated seaweed), we started with Kinmedai (golden-eye snapper). A peculiar choice to start given the piece was rather rich, but consistent with my previous visits. Maybe that’s their style and it was tasty. It was followed by the shiro-ebi (white shrimps) finely chopped for the creamy texture with a gentle brush of yuzu zest on top. The aji (horse mackeral) was my favorite this afternoon, and I thought it went well with the rice served slightly warm with mild vinegar taste.

The akami-zuke was briefly dipped into the marinate in the bowl and it was beautiful with the just-right flavor from the quick swim in the marinate liquid.  The kamasu (barracuda) was my close second favorite, with the fatty fish and skin slightly charred. My first sanma this autumn was decent, served with a dab of scallion and ginger pastes. The ikura (salmon roes) served as gunkan sushi was fine, except I wish it’s a bit bigger or with more shari underneath for a better balance.

The anago (sea eel) was firmer than my previous visits – judging from the pictures I took both times to compare – and it was good. Then we ended with the kanpyo-maki (pickled winter gourd), strangely cut slightly bigger than bite-size. That meant we needed an extra bite to finish each piece. And I wasn't a fan of their egg – I prefer it spongy and soft like a cake, but this one was too firm and too mild in taste.

Overall I think it definitely fared better this time than my previous visits. The portion was still on the lighter side compared to other sushi restaurants of similar caliber, but there were a few highlights which convinced me I should come back some time when I am in another sushi crave.

More photos here:

When? October 21 2017
Where? Sushi Wadatsumi, Shop 201, Grand Millenium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

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