Eighteenth course: Bluefin tuna belly (Otoro) sourced from Turkey. The Otoro is the outer fatty part of the tuna belly. This is one of the most expensive item on a sushi menu as it’s fatty taste appeals to western palate. I find it highly overrated and not worth the $$$.
Seventeenth course: Smoked Red Snapper (madai or tai) slightly seared with sea salt.
This fish is clean and watery with very delicate, sweet aroma and taste. It’s flesh is almost translucent and light. This Japanese snapper is one of a kind, luxury fish. This rare delicacy is not only an elite nigiri item but a quintessential Japanese nigiri. And, no this is not anything like US red snapper/sea bream. That fish is basically glorified tilapia.
Ninth Course: Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) from Kingston WA.
Geoduck is native to Northwest and has this toothy, firm and crunchy texture. It has a distinct delicate ‘oceany’ flavor with right amount of sweetness and a hint of kelp. It tastes so clean yet vibrant. To me it tastes like home. When I taste it I can almost feel on my tongue the smell of saltwater breeze through the crisp air. There is nothing like it. It’s the perfect mixture of weird and eccentric.
Seventh Course: Big eye tuna from Ecuador soaked in zuke for 2 hrs.
Big eye tuna is an Akami (red flesh fish) and packs a good punch of flavor. However, fresh (tuna) is not always better. Hence, zuke, an old fashioned Edo style sushi preparation, was used to enhance tuna’s flavor. Zuke method of preparing Sushi involves soaking the raw fish in soy sauce for few hours. This method not only preserves the fish, but it also keeps it visually appealing. Or else the tuna's flesh would have turned dark when exposed to air.
Fifth Course: Kamasu (barracuda). The flavor is mild and it tastes like somewhere between a hikarimono and shiromi. The best kamasu is sourced from Kanagawa prefecture just south of Tokyo. Even though Kamasu is a shiromi (white fish), it tastes, looks and feels (texture-wise) almost like a hikarimono (silver, shiny fish). Even though Kamasu is not served in traditional edomae nigirizushi, it's still a popular and tasty nigiri topping. PS: Fun fact - Barracuda is a predatory fish. 🐟 👹
Scotch fillet steak that kissed the pan with butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Along with blanched greens and sweet potato mash - also with more added butter! Notice that meat is always only a third of the plate if present. Followed by my apple and blueberry muffin, with sliced ripe nectarine warmed and topped off with a double cream dollop! #iaminheaven! #nograinnosugarnoneed#thebewellway
Third Course: Ishidai (rock bream) with kelp (konbu?) This Shiromi (white fish) rarely shows up on any sushi menú. It has unique black and white stripes. And, like a typical shiromi it has a sweet, clean flavor and offers considerably good fat content despite its small size.
Second Course: Isaki (grunt fish) with Sea Salt and lemon. Isaki, a grunt fish, is exclusive to Oita, Nagasaki, and Kouchi, Japan. Preparing this rare fish needs extra attention as it’s flesh is easy to break. But if done right, it’s so worth it. Isaki has a light flavor with a distinct fat layer between the skin and meat. The fish is very light, easy to taste, has delicate texture and offers a hint of sweetness. If you love other white fish, you will thoroughly enjoy this delightful fish.