When it comes to excellent sushi and sushi chefs, the devil is in the details. And at Sushi Kimura, you can expect nothing less. From a hinoki counter top made with wood from a 150-year-old tree, sushi rice cooked in Hokkaido spring water, to abalone boiled in sake for 8 hours, Kimura-san clearly believes that good things take time and effort. And it really shows.
So it was Sean’s birthday and he loves sushi. So as a bit of a surprise, I decided to take him to Palais Renaissance to try this place out, since he’d mentioned it before.
We went for the Rikyu Dinner set which came up to about $400/person.
Shall we begin?
First up, an omakase classic — Chilled Beancurd Skin (Yuba) with ikura, bonito jelly and yuzu. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I absolutely love yuba especially after having so much of it in Kyoto a few years ago, so no complaints there.
Next up, Oita Egg Chawanmushi with Hokkaido Hairy Crab cooked in Hokkaido spring water, Hokkaido corn. Lovely texture, delicate flavour.
One of the more interesting dishes of the meal was definitely this Black Abalone (kuro-awabi) cooked for 8 hours in Japanese sake.
Despite being poached for that long a time in the rice wine, it still retained its flavour (along with the sweetness of the sake) and was exceptionally tender. The light, delicate taste of the abalone went perfectly with the richness of the accompanying sauce — a creamy puree of its liver.
After that, a palate cleanser of Seasonal Vegetables. I was very intrigued by the variety of unique textures and flabours in this, and of course, the unrivalled sweet umami of Japanese tomatoes.
Then, a trio of charcoal-smoked bonito, hirame (flounder) and akagai clam.
Another trio of Boiled Squid and a Japanese-styled Bottarga made of cured silver mullet roe.
Then came a couple slices of charcoal-grilled aburi chutoro and bonito sashimi.
And now, for the main event — 10 glorious pieces of mouthwatering sushi.
First, Akami Bluefin Tuna.
This was a unique piece of Sea Robin which tasted very similar to hirame in my opinion.
My favourite cut of Bluefin Tuna — Chutoro.
Parrotfish with Uni Salt.
Sardine with chopped onions.
Ebi or cooked prawn. This was super sweet and succulent!
Next up, Botan Ebi.
Spear Squid (yari ika) with roasted sesame seeds.
And of course, everybody’s favourite — Otoro.
One of the more memorable parts of the meal has got to be sinking teeth into this massive Charcoal-grilled Wild-Caught Scallop (hotate) wrapped in dried Seaweed (nori).
Chef Kimura tells us the reason this particular specimen was so huge was because it was 5 years old! And farmed scallops hardly ever get this big. This was grilled over traditional white-hot charcoal and seasoned ever so lightly enough such that the sweet, succulent flavours took centrestage. A truly unforgettable treat!
And finally, this decadent bowl of uni, ikura and negitoro topped with runny egg.
It tasted exactly as mouthwatering as it looks, and it was just the most satisfying end to a beautiful omakase meal.
But we couldn’t leave without desserts, could we? Here are some Shizuoka melon and mochi with monaka and azuki beans.
Overall, it was a wonderful meal. Well-thought out, beautifully executed and all the ingredients were just of top quality. If you do visit, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.