Superb lunch today, at Yashin Sushi and Bar (‘without soy sauce’) in Kensington (see the Square Meal review). The occasion was the 2011 installment of the Koshu producers tour. [I wrote up last year's lunch at Umu here.] As many will already know, Koshu is a grape variety that’s unique to Japan, and which makes really attractive crisp, fresh white wines. We tasted 14 of them today, and they were consistently delicious in an understated, fresh, pure sort of way (write up will follow). There was a strong turnout, including luminaries Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent and Jancis Robinson.
The food? Sensationally good. So good, I’m going to have to do the food blogger thing and show you pictures. Above is the appetiser: a marinated tomato, Nanohana Brassicaceae (the broccoli sprig) and a jelly of seedless grapes with Tosazu (vinegar and dried bonito dashi). This was incredibly good. Tangy, exotic with lovely umami flavours from the tomato.
This was a highlight: oyster with celery leaf and Ponzu; scallop with jalapeno salsa and Yuzu juice; gorgonzola-marinated tuna with myoga (ginger) and yuzu kosho. All were thrilling.
Fantastic sushi: yellow tail with sake paste; sea bass with konubu kelp and kinome (Japanese pepper); red wine marinated tuna with myoga and miso
These were interesting: the first two were finished with a blow torch! Botan shrimp with foie gras; waygu beef with apple and yuzu salsa; salmon with tosazu jelly.
Vegetables: myoga-marinated konubu kelp; white turnip marinated with vinegar and plum paste; mizuna with umami dashi. Below are the head chefs: Shinya Ikeda and Yasuhiro Mineno. A memorable meal.