Friday, November 14, 2014

Sushi Tsuraku 鮨 津樂 - Omakase Course

 The Kitchen team behind Sushi Tsuraku,  is said to be trained under Sushi Hiro’s outlets plus some other notable Japanese shops in Hong Kong,  which through no fault of their own I cannot recall.   I was surprised to get an Invitation to try out their Omakase Menu here,  which starts from $880 for an Appetizer, 2 Sashimi, 8 Sushi pieces, Sushi Roll and Miso Soup with Dessert.   4 Sashimi with 10 Sushi Pieces and all the other items will be $1280, which is affordable especially during dinner time.   The biggest course with all the seasonal items will be $1680.


Got some Fresh Sake to start off the meal with -

Hokkaido Sweet Corn Chawan Mushi egg custard (Cold) -
This was interesting as a concept,  with corn presented as puree and as whole kernels,  and surprisingly served cold!   I liked this idea and recipe,  I personally think it could benefit if it had some more Kamaboko fish cake and Mitsuba leaves as decoration to bring out some colors!   Taste wise ~ 7.5/10



Got some more Sake after as a Food Pairing -
Will skip elaborating on the Sake this time,  as the main focus is more on the food. 


Grilled Anago eel with Vinegar -
This is the appetizer dish.   With some sesame on top of wakame seaweed.



The Octopus was sliced in a way similar to de-boned Hamo eel,  honegiri style in look, 
served with Apple Vinegar jelly -
Also some Shiso flowers.   One of the dishes I liked the best today,  with the octopus cups and body textural combination together with the slightly acidic jelly.   ~ 9/10


Seared Hairtail Tachiuo fish, 
with Yuzu Vinegar marinated Pear and sauce -
I really liked this combination of flavours again,  down to the marinated pear.  
Pretty smart as a concept with some smokiness and the pear…   ~ 8/10



Sushi Counter -


Toro Tuna with Wasabi -
I liked the marbling of this but it was served a bit warm than the norm.  Luckily this had a good oiliness and flavour.   ~ 7.5/10


Next piece of Chu-Toro wrapped in Shiso and Seaweed -
One of the Signature dishes here.   The tuna temperature of this,  I liked it much more.   I think the toro can be slightly cut thicker,  either that or the Shiso Ooba can be over-powering sometimes.   I think everyone had their own favourite items here..   ~ 7/10


Abalone Slow-cooked in Sake and Kombu Dashi -
This is knife sliced with wavy patterns,  which is pretty correct traditionally.  I liked this a lot too for it’s sake balanced sweetness and umami.   ~ 7.5/10

Ginger Juice Pickled Mango,  Cherry and Ginger –
Interesting to be served at this part of the meal,  but very appetizing and thoughtful.
I would rather this than a fruit platter at the end of the meal!




Same-Garei Right Mouth Roughscale Sole -
Our Sushi Chef shifted to this from a Left Mouthed Hirame at the last minute,  which I can’t complain about because back then it was in the perfect season and had more oiliness even during summer,  right before giving birth.   Quite crunchy too.  Nice knife work   ~ 9/10


Hokkaido Ishigaki Gai -
Seasonal back then for a short period,  this was crunchy and sweet and still moving.  I detected a small bitterness within the piece – some Japanese friend explained this could be the liver flavour.   Which makes sense as even Tsubugai and other Shellfishes do carry this trait often enough...   ~ 7/10




Botan Shrimp with Tomalley and Roe -
One of my preferred pieces.  Usually these are served with it’s own prawn roes,  and some Hokkaido ones have a greenish hue whilst most others are bluish.   This one however was served with it’s own head sauce instead...  Smart   ~ 8/10


Hotate Scallop -
When this came I thought it was Ika (Squid or Cuttlefish variety),  but interesting that this was sliced up this way with grooves.   I mean there’s hand-teared ones for texture,  or some Japanese chefs love to us non-knife sliced meat usually with a shellfish shell scraper,  but this was a first for me.  



Slightly seared Shima-Aji with some Radish and Onion compote -
This was decent enough.   I like them a bit fattier though.


Grilled Kinki Fish with Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Crispy Rice Puffs -
Quite possibly the most fussy sushi I found today.   Whilst I liked the novelty factor,  Kinki is super sweet naturally.  Personally I want that natural and subtle sweetness to sing through and knowing how expensive this fish usually is…  I think this will work better with a similar Kinmedai fish?   ~ 6.9/10

Hokkaido Bafun Sea Urchin -
This was ok sweet with umami.   It seemed more briny than usual,  despite not being of the sea water brined versions.   ~ 7/10


Seared Tuna Toro nigiri -
Definitely as controversial as the above Kinki Rockfish for me,  but at least I liked the idea above more.   For me this was under-flame grilled and didn’t release enough of it’s oily flavour…  it should be more flame-grilled darkened and plus personally,  I think a confident Sushi Restaurant should always end on a high with really good fresh Tuna and Toro pieces.    Luckily we got a dose of those too earlier in the meal.  One could argue this method means a heavier taste,  but may be we needed a piece of akami to build up to the crescendo part?    ~ 6/10





Kinmedai with Matsutake Broth -
This was served clear like an osui mono,  surely more thoughtful than your usual Miso Soup or Ara Ni Miso versions.    The matsutake personally could have had slightly more fragrance,  but then again the same can be said about many White or Black truffles hitting town during late Autumn…   ~ 7/10


Green Tea Pudding -
To end the Tasting Session.   Overall the quality of the seafood here was quite decent.  The rice grains were what you would expect from a sushi ya of this calibre.   I especially enjoyed some of the starter Sashimi otsumami courses.   Some sushi nigiri pieces are a little more aggressive in pushing forward the sauces, garnishes, rice puffs and as a sushi aficionado I believe that many of the fishes can be presented plainer and let them sing solo by itself.   However that doesn’t preclude a single fish variety from being presented in 2 different preparations,  say a grilled Kinki vs plain raw Kinki fish,  to play with the customers minds,  and let them choose which they prefer.  To me this is what intrigues diners to go out too sometimes !



Price:   $880 – $1680  (Omakase Price for Dinner.  Meal was by Invitation by Sushi Tsuraku)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Ease of Access:  4/5
Address:  9/F., Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central
中環士丹利街11號Stanley 11, 9樓
Ph: 2521 0008

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