Thursday, June 10, 2010

Post #416: more raw fish of the best quality - Sushi Kanesaka

E and I braved the rain to keep our lunch reservation at Sushi Kanesaka. The place has a Michelin 2 star, but the distinction is not advertised at all due to the Japanese dislike for it. Similar to many great sushi spots in Tokyo, this one is also hidden deep in a basement with a barely noticeable entrance on the street level. Luckily E's ability to read Japanese alphabets plus my ability to read Kanji (the Chinese characters that are still used in modern Japanese) allowed us to navigate around quite efficiently.

Our sushi chef for lunch was by far the most friendly I've ever encountered. His willingness to speak English and wonderful service really made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.
At this top level, it's hard to compare the fish quality between Kanesaka and Kyubey. What did differentiate was the texture of the rice. Kanesaka's version is just a bit more vinegared and quite a bit more al dente. Viewed from the underside, the grains looked rather distinct. I prefer this version when paired with the firmer white fish pieces, but the more buttery fish types seemed to do better with the softer textured rice at Kyubey. Although all this is really hair splitting talk. Either one is WAY better than any I've had state side. On a side note, the Tokyo Nobu was just around the corner from my hotel. I was told by the hotel staff that if I wanted something average and easy (not cheaper), I could just go there. :)

An awesome piece of fatty tuna.
Then for contrast, a clean flavored slice of lean tuna.

Look how that skin shines and the flavor was so clean, it was hard to believe that it is a skin on piece.

This is definitely the most beautiful and non-fishy piece of aji I've ever had. My compliment on its fresh sweet flavor got our chef to comment that he heard that Americans use mayo on their sushi, he supposed that it is because there is a need to hide the fishiness...

The chef kindly gave a single piece on the left side, so the photo would show the neat composition by hand on the right.

Very very sweet clam.
The eel here was the most different I've ever had. The piece was so soft, it literally melted in my mouth. I think I prefer my eel with a bit more texture, but the consistence here was definitely an experience.

Somehow I failed to take a photo of my uni piece. I guess being my favorite, I was too busy easy to think about photo. The chef, upon hearing that I was heading to Hokkaido, said that I'd have even better uni there. I was doubtful then, but having now consumed a good quantity of the best stuff in Hokkaido, I am completely convinced that he was right. Hokkaido does indeed have the best uni, which you will see in a later post.

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