Friday, October 28, 2022

Mistaken Identity

A case of mistaken identity brought us to Sushi Nakamoto for the second sushi dinner within the same week instead of the seasonal kaiseki menu I was dying to try at another place - at least we discovered this in the morning so averted the potential disaster or at least embarrassment of us showing up at different venues.

We have been to this sushi-ya on Pottinger Street before - twice to be exact and both for lunch - so I guess it's fine to check out their dinner menu this time around and we picked the longer of the two options, the Omakase Course which made up of tsumami dishes followed by a series of sushi items. And once again, we were served by one of their sous chefs which work alongside Chef Masaki-san on the night. 

We began with a series of small dishes as appetizers. Buri (yellowtail) was delicious with excellent texture. The grilled mehikari (greeneyes) was served on the same plate with marinated oyster on the side and both were decent. I liked the hint of smoky flavor of the delicate (and tiny) mehikari fish grilled whole and carved into halves to serve. The kawahagi (filefish) was served with the liver sauce on top as per the traditional way of serving, and then it's the piece of nodoguro, grilled with the skin crisped. 

My only complaint was the shirako dish, served with a dab of grated daikon on top and vinaigrette underneath. I thought they were slightly under-seasoned and didn't have much taste to show forth. And they could have been more generous with the portion of the awabi (abalone) course, with only one slice of kuro-awabi presented with the liver sauce on the side. This has become a common dish now in just about everywhere and this one we had was right in the middle of the pack, I guess. But the last cooked dish was a highlight, with a piece of Amadai (tilefish) done kaburamushi style with slices of matsutake mixed in. I like the souffle-like texture of the source paired with the earthy mushroom aroma.  

We then moved on to the nigiri courses, with serving order largely followed the traditional way of moving from light to richer shari, then some shellfish items towards the end. Nothing of a surprise with the Hirame and Kuromutsu which was the first and second piece, especially this being our second sushi meal already this week. A bit awkward of going back to a dish of ankimo (monkfish liver) but that was tasty albeit a little too firm in texture. That's followed by the trio of tuna - akami-zuke, chutoro and otoro. Otoro was a bit sinewy but otherwise great texture and well-balanced. The Kohada (gizzard shad) was my favorite this evening, with the right acidity and fatty texture, then it's the Bafun Uni (sea urchins) served gunkan style which was alright. 

I would argue Sujiko (salmon roes) was one of the few bona fide seasonal sushi items served this evening, which normally came into prime season in colder months. It's perfectly seasoned and each bite burst with nice umami flavor. Thought the kuruma-ebi (giant prawn) was a bit overcooked (a bit tough on the surface) and under-seasoned (could do with an extra pinch of salt). The akagai (ark shell) came in decent size and bright orange color and I love its crunchy texture. We finished with anago (conger eel) and pieces of tamago-yaki (with a caramelized top from blowtorch creme brulee style) - both decent. 

Very straight forward drinks menu with wide (but predictable) selection. We ended up with a small bottle junmai daiginjo. Typical balanced flavor from a reliable brewery from Fukui Prefecture and worked fine with the food. 

Not the kind of meal I expected but then no harm, no foul, as it turned out. 

When? October 15 2022
Where? Sushi Nakamoto, 16 Pottinger Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Amadai Kaburamushi
Born Chogin Junmai Daiginjo - Kato Kichibee Shoten, Fukui Prefecture
梵特撰三割八分純米大吟釀 - 福井県 加藤吉平商店

No comments :