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Restaurant check: Sushi Ta-ke

11 Aug 2015

BACKGROUND

Hong Kong's Sushi Ta-ke restaurant has appointed Fujikawa Tsutomu as its executive chef, bringing a new six-course Omakase menu that combines his signature dishes with seasonal Japanese ingredients and specialties.

Chef Fujikawa Tsutomu hails from Michelin starred Ginza Sushiko Honten in Tokyo, where he worked for 18 years. The reputed establishment of 130 years is run by its fourth generation masterchef Mamoru Sugiyama, who is also Sushi Ta-ke’s consulting chef.

RESTAURANT

Located in retail and office complex Cubus, the restaurant is just off the busy shopping district in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay. Designed by architect and interior designer Steve Leung, along with lighting designer Tino Kwan (both part-owners of the restaurant), the interior is dark and contemporary. Bamboo lines the entrance and is used throughout the restaurant, adding traditional Japanese elements to the overall modern design and feel.  

FOOD

Chef Fujikawa Tsutomu’s current Omakase menu will last for around a month. After that, the menu format will remain the same but some items will change according to the seasonality of ingredients.

Appetiser

“Junsai” with onsen egg, chopped fatty tuna with homemade rice cracker, thinly sliced seabass sashimi

Sashimi

Butou shrimp, toro, Californian cockle

Grilled Dish

Grilled “ayu” with sea salt

Nigiri Sushi

Toro, sea urchin, horse mackerel, flatfish, marinated tuna with soya, arch shell, white shrimp, chef’s maki roll

Noodle

Cold Japanese “somen”

Seasonal Japanese fruit

REVIEW

I enjoyed the recommended “WAH”, Jacob’s Creek’s white wine co-created by chef Sugiyama and Australian winemaker Pernod Ricard exclusively for Sushi Ta-ke. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and two varieties of Chardonnay, the fruity wine was designed to complement Japanese cuisine. 

Junsai with onsen egg

The junsai with onsen egg was a very interesting start to the meal. Onsen means ‘hot springs’, and onsen eggs are traditionally eggs that are slow cooked in hot spring water until they are perfectly poached with a firm but creamy yolk and soft, silky whites. This was served in a slightly sour broth with junsai, a rare water plant with a gelatinous coating that is slippery and ‘swims around’ your mouth. Ironically, while this might sound hard to swallow for some, I found it surprisingly refreshing. 

Chopped fatty tuna with homemade rice cracker

The chopped fatty tuna with homemade rice cracker is one of the chef’s new creations and offers several textures at once; the crispy rice cracker complemented the fatty tuna, mentaiko sauce and sesame very well.

Butou shrimp sashimi

The butou shrimp was sweet and tender. Butou menas ‘grape’, and the shrimp gets its name from its purple colour. The butou shrimp is very rare and is harvested only once every year, best served as sashimi.

Grilled Ayu with sea salt

This small grilled fish was served with a refreshing lime vinaigrette. There’s a special method to eating this dish, which involves gently breaking the bones of the fish with chopsticks all the way along the spine until you are able remove the whole thing in one go. Provided you’re able to master this skill, the dish is tasty and well balanced; the vinaigrette provided a welcoming citrus balance to the otherwise dry dish.

Cold Japanese somen

The cold somen noodle was paired with a light plum sauce with chopped pomelo and provided a nice, light finish to the meal.

For dessert, I had fresh seasonal peaches straight from Japan; they were full of flavour, ridiculously juicy and very pink!

VERDICT

Fresh, beautifully presented food and great ambience. Since each course is carefully prepared by chef Tsutomu, the meal is a three-hour affair. Definitely a good choice for special occasions or if you have someone to impress.

FACTFILE

OPENING HOURS: 12:00-14:30 and 18:00-23:00

PRICE: Fujikawa Tsutomu’s Omakase menu is HK$1500 per person +10%

CONTACT: 12/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong +852 2577 0611, sushitake.com.hk


Joyce Lau

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