Raw oysters are sublime and provide a taste of heaven for those who enjoy them.
Five p.m. could not come fast enough on the day of our happy date with oysters. I waited impatiently for 4:55pm, a respectable time to shut down my computer and gather my things so I could be out the door at 5p. I left work boredom behind and walked to Sushi Dokku.
The Oyster Happy hour for that day offered 3 kinds of oysters:
- Pacific (New Zealand) – west coast
- Old 1871 – east coast
- Stingray – east coast
As expected, the oysters tasted delicious and succulent, except for the Old 1871 oyster which was a bit too salty. The New Zealand oyster was a pleasant surprise given my preference for east coast oysters over pacific (west coast) oysters. It felt mild and clean on the tongue and had the cucumber finish our server described. The Stingray confirmed my preference for east coast with its richer, almost brinier flavor and light finish. Sans traditional cocktail sauce, I discovered a different way to enjoy raw oysters, straight up with a dash of lemon. I contemplated adding a drop of soy on them but feared accidently drowning them with too much and ruining them. Plus, the soy seemed too heavy for such a delicate flavor and texture.
But Sushi Dokku’s dressing did little to compliment the oysters and in the case of the New Zealand oyster, dulled its fresh cucumber-like finish. The fried ginger added a distracting crunch from the clean, briny goodness of oysters. And the soy vinaigrette/hoisin sauce seems better suited for oyster makis as these compliment the maki’s additional ingredients of rice and nori. The kizami wasabi’s heat overwhelmed the oyster flavor except in the case of the Old 1871, where it added a nice complexity to the saltiness.
Nothing beats traditional cocktail sauce, lemon and Tabasco for enjoying oysters and the lack of it deterred my boyfriend from joining us. He suggested we bring our own next time but how tacky and shameful to show up at a fine sushi restaurant with cocktail sauce. Ketchup probably does not belong in Asian cuisine unless a skillful fusion chef uses it to create an unusual dish. Best to go to Shaw’s or another place that offers cocktail sauce. Sushi Dokku’s oysters need nothing except the wedge of lemon served with them. Next time, I’ll skip the sake and order a glass or bottle of crisp white wine or bubbly.