(trans. salmon roe and sea urchin gonads rice bowl)...
The zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles
with dipping sauce) tastes pretty good too
on a hot summer's day!
But what price this generous piece of
uni gunkan sushi?
When I was a pre-teen, the first Japanese restaurant was established in Penang. The Furusato restaurant at the Rasa Sayang Hotel (now "remade" into a "resort" and, alas, minus a Japanese dining establishment) was where I had my first sushi -- and where I developed a general love of Japanese food.
However, I didn't begin to understand people's -- including that of my father's -- love of uni (sea urchin gonads) until my mother and I paid a visit one fateful morning a few years ago to Tokyo's Tsukiji Market and one of the restaurants located within it, the (in)famous Sushi Dai. Up until I had the uni that was part of the omakase breakfast I had there, I had thought that uni tasted too strongly of iodine for my liking. On a related note, I also thought that uni visually resembled mud.
But at Sushi Dai, the uni that was placed on the portions of gunkan sushi that my mother and I were served consisted of noticeably individually separated pieces -- and it was absolutely heavenly! Tasting of the sea but also simultaneously light and creamy, it was a revelation as well as sheer delight.
Since that amazing breakfast (that was a wonderful cultural experience on top of being an incredible culinary one), I have become a fan of uni and I've been truly lucky to be able to get my share of good uni over here in Hong Kong (as well as on a return visit to Sushi Dai when I returned to Tokyo for another visit last year). But a few weeks ago, at a physically modest restaurant in Tin Hau, I had the best uni I've ever had thus far in my life -- surpassing even the uni at Sushi Dai and the far more expensive and famous Sushi Kuu located in Central (that I've happily gone for omakase a few times, including one time the same week as I visited the Tin Hau establishment).
I'm almost afraid to give publicity via this blog entry to Kiyoshi Sushi for fear that this great place is going to get super popular and risk its being ruined. But a place that serves uni this good really deserves to get major praise and patronage. And this especially when it offers lunch sets that are around the HK$90 range (including one that is made up of that ikura and uni don and zaru soba in this blog entry's top two photos -- with a bowl of miso soup thrown in for good measure!)
Those seeking the ultimate uni should note, however, that it's the Hokkaido uni on the restaurant's menu that is truly super special. Also, it's not cheap -- more specifically, it costs HK$160 for one order (i.e., two pieces) of the Hokkaido uni gunkan sushi. (For comparison, one order (i.e., two pieces) of the "regular" Japanese uni gunkan sushi costs, if memory serves me right, just half the price!)
So... what to do? Well, you could do as I did last Saturday -- i.e., go for lunch and order the set that includes the ikura and (regular) uni don, then see if you can get the restaurant to effectively accept half of a regular order of the Hokkaido uni -- though it's true too that you may decide that just one piece of Hokkaido uni gunkan sushi might not be enough, so you might as well go for the full single regular order of it (for yes, it does taste that orgasmically great!)! :b