I have been aching to get out to Sake for a meal for along time. On one saturday we took the opportunity to visit our regular customer Maeda san at his ruling kitchen to reciprocate the gesture. Since getting to know Maeda san I have read so much material on his and Shaun Presland’s cooking in various media. I was keen to taste the famous Japanese fusion cuisine utilizing traditional ingredients with a cool twist, represented in ponzu Julee and serving ocean trout with miso and pea purée.
What we ate.
Scallop ponzu julee amuse
Wagyu new style
Miso barra cups
Ocean trout with miso, asian mushrooms and pea purée
Sushi – tuna zuke, hiramasa kingfish, scallop, aburi barramundi, Tako
I am going to ignore various conflict of interests and write this review as what i am, a big head foodie who thinks he knows a thing or two about food.
Scallop Julee was exciting. It did exactly what it was supposed to. Cleanse the palate and open the salivation valve with that acidity.
Sashimi tacos beautifully presented with really fresh tuna and ocean trout matching with predominantly tomato and coriander flavours. Reminded me of the Mexican raw fish dish Ceviche my mother ordered every night when we went for a family holiday in Cancun.
Wagyu new style was awesome. Loin or rump? relatively leaner but tasty cuts of Wagyu thinly sliced and half cooked in hot oil and served with citrus soy. Amazingly tender and well flavored. I wondered what oil was used for the hot oil. Although very very slight, and maybe just me but I felt it had an oxidized scent and I thought perhaps they could use a subtle oil like a grape seed to eliminate the scent.
Pork katsu was the only dish i didnt get. As i read the menu I was wondering how Maeda san was going to pull this one off. Pork belly must be to fatty to make into a katsu and yet so many people praising this dish… I find that this is actually a puréed vegetable and pork belly croquette. Beautifully presented, it evoked my expectation but personally I didn’t quite understand what the aim of the dish was.
Barra miso cup, so pretty. Like a mini San choi bao, Japanese style with bold miso taste and perfectly roasted juicy barra.
The ocean trout! Beautiful. One of my favorite eating fish prepared expertly medium rare. No words required to appreciate the effort going in to create the pea purée, miso sauce and serving it perfectly.
We finished off with some sushi. The Zuke was silky and firm. Kingfish must have also had some sort of prepping done to it. It had a very subtle flavor and was very firm, not to the point of kobujime but none the less, slightly demoisturized to firmer it up. The scallops were sweet and plump, and the seared barra with salt and Yuzu pepper was very smooth and unfishy. Although very skillful and traditionally trained, the sushi team at Sake go the extra step to make the fish more presentable and easy to eat for the broader audience.
Cherry Blossom for my wife and. I tested the sake selection.
Amabuki Junmai Ginjo
Kozaemon jukusei yamadanishiki Ginjo
Kozaemon 3year koshu
Green tea (love the Nanbu tekki pot)
Kozaemon jukusei Junmai Ginjo yamadanishiki was my favourite. It was very dry but retained tremendous umami characteristic of yamadanishiki and with the long maturation a nice straw colour and rounded edges comparable direction to a whiskey.
All in all, it was a very stimulating experience. Aside from the delicious flavors, spotless and refined decor, faultless and relaxed service, perfectly executed dishes with artistic presentation. Sake truly is in the league of 3 star restaurants and should not be compared with any other Japanese restaurants. The attention to detail is 3 steps ahead of any others.
Maeda san, gochisosamadeshita!