I invited fellow budget foodie, sushi slut and really good friend Nina to experience this omakase dinner. We always enjoy the adventure of the deals we come across in our mutual quest for budget sushi. Our dinner included the following courses.
Friday, August 21 - Omakase Dinner Courses
Thankfully, maguro sashimi arrived for the next course, a nice light dish with raw, fresh ingredients we prefer. It looked somewhat promising with burdock root, pickled onion, crushed garlic and a glaze sauce. I ate a whole sashimi slice in one bite, stuffing a wad of pickled onion and maguro in my mouth. The sauce tasted like teriyaki with a cloying sweetness better suited to grilled, dry chicken breast skewers. What a shame to pair it with beautiful raw fish that always shines on its own. All raw fish needs is a slight flavor bump of citrus and/or soy. The trend of dressed sushi sometimes results in a mishmash of competing flavors like pickled onion and crushed fresh garlic. Dokku Sushi's dressed nigiri stand out with delicious
items like the tuna truffle and escolar with peppercorns.
We pulled off the pickled onions and did our best to scrape the teriyaki glaze off the maguro. I ate the pickled onions separately and enjoyed them on their own. Why didn't the chef think to serve the pickled onions as a small side salad in between courses? The onions had a nice crunch and the briney sweetness was refreshing. Meanwhile the sake we ordered was going down nicely. It was a Junmai or Ginjo of some sort with nice citrus and pear notes and a light body that went down easily. We would definitely need another bottle soon.
The chef paired the nama sake with enoki mushrooms, truffle oil and chives. It was a nice balance of flavors that finally worked. And it was gone all too soon, in 2 delicious bites. Time for the ika, one of my least favorite nigiri with its bland, unseasoned flesh. A tobiko aioli with sprinkled tobiko and a basil leaf dressed the ika. I also never liked the pungent and somewhat minty basil leaf in sushi. It would be hard to impress me with this one. Nina took her first bite and shook her head while chewing it. She did not care for it all, commenting on the strong mayonnaise flavor. Squid really works better as calamari, grilled or fried with lemon and sauce.
We barely picked at the last course of chicken over rice with mashed potato and baby leeks. Already full, a sense ennui set in as the large plate loomed in between us. We stared at the plate for a moment and discussed eating it. Neither of us wanted to take the leftovers. I would have if I were going straight home afterwards; as a non-cook, I live on leftovers and am always grateful for the talented chefs who prepare them. I had plans to see my friend's band at Xippos. I did not want to drag a bag of leftovers to a bar on a warm summer night. Too many bouts of food poisoning makes me paranoid.
We picked at the mashed potatoes and dipped our chopsticks into the chicken tower to taste the sauce. We were done and washed down the last of the sake. We really needed that second bottle. The quest for good budget sushi continues now as we check Macku Sushi off the list. Groupon and LivingSocial vouchers have not yet resulted in any great discoveries. Next on my list: a coupon for the Riji Fish market.