Ask any Shimokitazawa gourmand in the know to name their favourite local restaurants and they’re highly likely to include this offbeat eatery on their lists. Run by the enigmatic Kan Morieda, one of Tokyo’s most visible young chefs and the instigator of his very own cooking style – ‘punk cuisine’ – Salmon and Trout is a mishmash of influences and innovations. Part of the eclecticism is due to Morieda’s colourful work history: he soaked up experience at places as diverse as Sydney’s Tetsuya’s, Kogetsu in Aoyama and Jeff Ramsey’s Tapas Molecular Bar before breaking out on his own and embarking on a whirlwind career of event planning, recipe production and food mag editing, in addition to manning the counter at S&T six nights a week.
Morieda always goes to great lengths in surprising his customers. His dishes incorporate southeast Asian condiments and techniques – ‘with global warming, Japan is becoming a part of that region anyway’ – and, in true punk spirit, never pay much heed to tradition. Take the fermented tomato and watermelon soup, a bright red liquid that hovers somewhere between dashi and cold-pressed fruit juice. It gets an additional kick from fresh camomile oil and pickled white strawberries. Morieda is acutely aware of environmental issues, arguing that ‘certain ingredients are eaten everywhere these days, which leads to depleted stocks and destruction. I want to counter that by serving things you won’t find at the average restaurant.’