You can do a lot of things with $3,500. You could buy an iPad or pay your rent. Hell, you can even go to the Sting concert three times over with that kind of dough. What else you can do with $3,500? You can have a meal at Sushi Yoshitake.
Housed in the inconspicuous Mercer hotel, this tiny eight-seat restaurant comes courtesy of chef Masahiro Yoshitake. It’s the first overseas offshoot of his three Michelin-starred eatery (also called Sushi Yoshitake) in Ginza, Tokyo, and like the flagship, everything is serves omakase-style with chef Yoshitake dictating the menu based on the freshest, seasonal ingredients he can get from his trusted fish suppliers in Japan.
The signature Miyabi set is $3,500 and includes a range of appetisers and 13 pieces of sushi. The only other two menu choices available are the Rin ($2,500 for 10 pieces of sushi) and Ho ($4,500 for 15 pieces). We won’t say whether or not a meal here is worth the price because that’s all relative to what you’re willing to pay for fresh fish. What we can say, though, is whether or not a meal here is good. And it is – very, very good.
Chef Yoshitake and his sous chef Yoshiharu Kakinuma constructs the multicourse feast with exacting precision and, on the night of our visit, the meal starts with a bowl of matsutake mushrooms, Japanese bok choy, and sweet pearls of seasonal ikura resting on a bed of yuzu jelly. This microcosm of autumnal flavours is followed up by two slices of marinated octopus that taste almost meat-like and sliced golden eye snapper served with soy sauce spun from fish bones. We also get thick cuts of steamed abalone paired with the mollusc’s liver sauce. The condiment is the soul here and the chef will drop a thumbnail of red vinegar sushi rice on to your sauce plate so you can sop up every last bit once you’re done with the abalone. The highlight, however, is the lightly seared bonito, which boasts a crisp, paper-like skin and oil-slicked flesh. It’s served with chef’s homemade Japanese pesto – a delicious mash-up of scallion and ginger that perks up the dish to ethereal levels.
And that’s not even the main meal. You still get your sushi, which are all expertly made and ready slicked in the proper sauces. We start with a subtly sweet piece of squid before progressing into more flavourful, marbled cuts like golden eye snapper. Medium fatty tuna is also deliberately followed up by a slab of o-toro so guests can taste the palpable difference between the two cuts. After a short intermission, the seared bonito we rave about during the appetisers makes a return visit and works its magic again. And, really, you’ve never had good kohada before until you’ve had it in October. Then comes a palate refreshing piece of pike mackerel rolled in with shiso leaves. Finally, the meal takes a sweeter turn with things like shrimp and grilled sea eel that boasts an almost tofu-like texture as it melts on the tongue. The meal nears its end when you’re presented with a small bowl of miso (laced with yuzu) and two pieces of cake-like tamago. Tack on a finale of green tea mousse and red bean yokan and you’ll be fully sated.
So yes, it is expensive but it’s up to you what you want to spend your money on. Do you want to eat 13 pieces of sushi? Or do you want to listen to Sting sing Every Breath You Take three times over? You decide. Dorothy So
L/F, The Mercer, 29 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, 2643 6800; sushiyoshitake.com. Mon-Sat 6pm-8pm & 8.30pm-late. Closed Sun.
Miyabi x2 $3,500pp
10 percent service charge $700
|Venue name:||Sushi Yoshitake|
L/F, The Mercer, 29 Jervois St, Sheung Wan