A little while ago we were sitting around the office thinking about lunch. Well, at least, I was thinking about lunch. Someone’s got to start the ball rolling, after all. I had suggested sushi. Not just regular, everyday sushi…some of the good stuff. That was when ‘The Gut’ suggested Kimura, a place he and his wife recently discovered. Now, understand, when ‘The Gut’ recommends a sushi restaurant, I immediately take notice. He is someone who takes his food seriously and understands the finer points of Japanese cuisine. Those nuances are something I am sorely lacking and will take any opportunity to refine my knowledge of.
After a quick bit of study, it became very apparent that this was a must-visit. A quick glance at their webpage and a very well written post by Keev at TimeToChow made a visit imperative.
Having owned and operated many restaurants from the U.S. to Mexico to Shanghai, Chef Itsuroku Kimura has decided to settle here and make this his “retirement” restaurant. His love of jazz is apparent. Not just in the music playing, but also in the record sleeves on display and the cloaked double bass behind his station.
Along with the jazz vibe, cool artworks and unique interior, is the exceptional quality of food. Kimura strives to use only the best and freshest of ingredients.
When it comes to the intricacies of rice, I am, unfortunately, quite ignorant. Although I can tell the difference between Basmati, Jasmine and Arborio, I’ve always had trouble discerning the subtleties of sushi rice. Even after today’s excellent meal, I’m still scratching my head. Maybe a side-by-side comparison is in order.
For today’s meal the four of us each went with the ”15 Piece Sushi and Mini-Udon Combo”.
The Udon Soup was exceptional. Thick, chewy noodles with tempura shrimp in a delicious, not-too-salty broth. A perfectly balanced appetite inducer.
Alongside was one of my favorites, Unagi. In any other form, I absolutely despise eel. But, for some reason, I love the BBQ Freshwater version. Especially bathed in Nikiri, a sweet mixture of soy, dashi, sake and mirin.
How to go about eating a wide-ranging assortment of raw fish is, it turns out, is a bit finicky. This is where a finer palate would come in really handy…along with a guide to properly eating nigiri. Nanako from Nanako’s Thoughts For Food offered up this quality tip:
“I started with the lighter nigiris like the snappers and the squid and moved on to the fattier oilier ones like fatty tuna and salmon – this is to prevent your palate from being coated by the oiliness of the fish that may taint the flavour of the lighter fish.”
When this meal was done I was still kind of perplexed. I have yet to ‘get‘ the subtle nuance of the higher quality rice. I’ve learned a bit about the differing textures of the myriad fish, but the individual flavors were masked somewhat by the nikiri on each piece. Oh, well. There’s only one solution. Eat until you figure it out!!