Friday, September 5, 2008

Sake to me

During our visit to Dallas, we stopped into our favorite DFW sushi restaurant Sushi Sake. Over 10 years ago, we first set foot into their original location in a nearby strip mall and it was love at first bite. Though we've tried other DFW sushi establishments since, Sushi Sake is still our #1.

Having dinner here almost feels like dining into Edo-era Japan. We were graciously greeted by the hostess, who used to don a kimono but not so in our recent visits. Maybe the kinomos were sent to the cleaners in Japan. From the entrance looking in, sushi bar is to the left where a few of the chefs were the same ones we first saw 10 years ago. With sake barrels stacked from floor to ceiling and the specials that'll make anyone hungry, it's not hard to see why these chefs are always smiling. The main dining room has two rows of picnic-style tables and seats. Small parties should be prepared to share a table with strangers. The back dining room provides an even more authentic experience for larger parties with tables that give the appearance of sitting on the ground and lighting that mimics candlelight.

Now onto the food:

Seaweed Salad
Started the meal with seaweed salad, which is a standard appetizer for us at sushi restaurants.

Assorted appetizers
Clockwise from back left: Miso-marinated sea bass, kaki fry (fried oysters), tempura dipping sauce, kisu tempura (fried whitefish).

Though the miso-marinated sea bass didn't look like others we've had (see my trip to Arubiya Kinnosuke), it was still very tasty. And even though the other two dishes are fried, we still consider it healthy because it's in a sushi restaurant.

Assorted Nigiri
From front to back:
Left column: ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying-fish roe), uni (sea urchin), amaebi (sweet shrimp), fried shrimp head
Middle column: unagi (fresh-water eel), anago (sea eel), hotate (scallop), aji (mackerel)
Right column: unagi, ika (squid), smoked salmon, sake (fresh salmon)

Though everything was delicious, my favorite of the evening was the aji. It was extremely fresh this night and seemed more wonderfully fatty than usual. Thank goodness we ordered extra.

No-rice Tiger-eye
Here's a blast from the past, their beloved tiger-eye. This item hasn't been on their menu for many years, but we always write it in and they always make it for us. Unlike tiger-eyes at other places, here they make it without rice. Asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon wrapped in squid wrapped in joy. It's served warm, which may explain the warmth in our hearts after eating it.

One of my wife's favorite is chawanmushi, which is a mixture of egg whites, broth, mushrooms, chicken, shrimp, spinach, ginko bean, and other items steamed forming a piping hot, savory flan. Well worth the 20-minute wait it takes for them to bring it out.

Mango & Green Tea Ice Cream
For dessert, mango and green-tea ice cream. If those words don't make you want some, then you probably haven't had any. It's a healthy indulgence because everyone knows that mangos and green tea are good for us.

I love this place so much I've written a haiku:

Oh Sushi Sake
So much I want to order
Rubs tummy and smiles

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