Sunday, January 28, 2018

Quick Sushi Lunch in Fukuoka

I was more into casual street food whilst in Kyushu for my recent trip but I did go for one simple sushi lunch in Fukuoka nonetheless. Sushi Kawasho is an old sushi restaurant opened in 1947 now with 2 branches, one in Nishi-nakasu district and another, one that I went, inside Hotel Nikko near Hakata train station.

The restaurant itself, from the entrance to the interior and the décor, resembles just about any classic high-end Japanese hotel restaurants, with the long sushi counter with the chef working behind, in front of the small glass cabinet where all the daily fresh produce was displayed. It was a quiet afternoon that I went – with me being only the two groups of the customer.

I went for their sushi lunch set with 8 courses of sushi, and a few side dishes. I didn’t feel hurried or anything, but the courses were served in quick succession and I finished my meal within 45 minutes after I sat down at the sushi counter. The serving order pretty much followed the conventional rules, starting with the lighter kurodai (black snapper) and finished with the grilled anago (sea eel). While nothing particularly stood out, I did enjoy the piece of yari-ika (spear squid) cut in a neat crisscrossed pattern (Matsukasa-kiri) giving it a soft, almost creamy texture. It showed tremendous knife skills of the chef too. 

The chu-toro (medium fatty tuna) was served as the second course and I like the fat balance. The uni (sea urchin) was served gunkan style in an interesting rounded shape with generous portion of murasaki uni piled on top. The other pieces, which included the Kanpachi (amberjack), Odori-ebi (raw shrimp) (with the head deep-fried) and Tamago (egg), were alright, though nothing to write home about. 

The Anago (sea eel) was the last piece of the nigiri sushi and it definitely tasted better than its rather charred look. I liked the smoky flavor contrasting with that slightly sweet sauce basted on top. Then it’s a pair of Hiroshimana-maki (広島菜卷). The sushi roll with yama-imo (mountain yam) and pickles in the middle and wrapped with cabbage – I have never tried that before to be honest and it must have been a local specialty (and it's interesting). Then there’s a couple hot courses – chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) and a generous bowl of miso soup with fish. Both were especially comforting in this winter weather. Likewise with the slices of candied pear served as dessert.

Not the best sushi meal by any means (even in Hong Kong standard), but for the price I paid, I ain’t complaining. And good to have something other than ramen for a change while I was in Fukuoka. 

When? January 9 2018
Where? Sushi Kawashou, 2/F Hotel Nikko Fukuoka, 2-18-25 Hakata Eki-mae, Fukuoka, Japan

Kyushu Travel Series (January 2018):

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