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LTHers Visit Sakuma's Japanese Restaurant

LTHers Visit Sakuma's Japanese Restaurant
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  • LTHers Visit Sakuma's Japanese Restaurant

    Post #1 - April 28th, 2006, 7:34 pm
    Post #1 - April 28th, 2006, 7:34 pm Post #1 - April 28th, 2006, 7:34 pm
    Having posted on Sakuma's before, Cathy2 expressed interest in visiting Sakuma's to try the omakase course with me. Though it was kind of last minute, we were able to assemble a group of Sakuma's omakase-curious folks on a Sunday night.

    I had Hutch (my dad) call up Chef Sakuma letting him know that my foodie friends were interested in trying "something unusual" for their first omakase experience at Sakuma's. This is the Japanese menu Chef Sakuma wrote out for us (a la Iron Chef Michiba who used to write out the menu in Japanese calligraphy):

    Image
    Please note that Chef Sakuma has never provided a menu for our family before!

    The English translation of the menu is as follows:
    ___________________

    Sakuma Gourmet Club
    ___________________

    - Zensai (hors d'oeuvres)
    sato-imo (mountain yam) with soybean dressing
    tempura-style red snapper rolled in nori (seaweed)
    crab with ponzu (lemon-flavored soy sauce) dressing
    sweet boiled black beans
    Image

    - Otsukuri (sashimi course)
    "sunset" carpaccio - tuna and salmon with olive oil, capers, daikon sprouts, croutons sprinkled with special salt (sea salt with rice powder)
    Image

    - Yakimono (grilled course)
    "tuna crunch" - seared tuna with tempura crumbs
    Image
    close-up of same dish
    Image

    - Aemono (items with dressing on them)
    cold beef shabu-shabu with sesame sauce and wakame seaweed
    Image

    - Sushi Combination
    "green turtle" - this was subbed out for tamago (egg omelet)
    "four seas" roll
    salmon oshi-zushi (pressed sushi)
    round shrimp sushi with spicy sauce & mayo
    soy and yuzu marinated tuna
    Image

    - Alternative Course for A2Fay who can't eat raw fish right now
    Image

    - Soup Course
    clear broth with mountain yam puree (I forgot this one because it wasn't on the written menu!)

    - Dessert
    kuzu manjyu - jelly enrobed red bean paste
    Image

    All this was accompanied with a bottle of Okunomatsu Sake (tokubetsu junmai) from Fukuoka prefecture
    Image

    Chef Sakuma in front of his wall of fame
    Image

    LTHers in attendance:
    Chef Sakuma
    Hutch
    Asami
    A2Fay
    CrazyC
    Cathy2
    Sazerac
    Josephine
    GWiv
    MrsGWiv

    Image
    Image

    It was a real treat for me to meet so many people on my first LTH event. Hutch had heard so much about this forum from me that it was neat for him to meet people who like to eat and drink as much as he does!

    Chef Sakuma was clearly impressed with the LTHers knowledge of Japanese food and seemed to enjoy chatting with us. He even asked everyone for their signatures on a pretty piece of paper (presumably to display somewhere).

    **All of the lovely photos are courtesy of GWiv**

    Sakuma's Japanese Restaurant/Sushi Bar
    43 S. Sutton Road
    Streamwood, IL 60107
    (630) 483-0289
    Last edited by asami on April 30th, 2006, 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 8:18 pm
    Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 8:18 pm Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 8:18 pm
    - Alternative Course for A2Fay who can't eat raw fish right now


    Are congratulations in order?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - April 29th, 2006, 8:05 am
    Post #3 - April 29th, 2006, 8:05 am Post #3 - April 29th, 2006, 8:05 am
    asami,

    thank you for the great post (and thanks to GWiv for the lovely photos, too). Do you think LTHers visiting Sakuma could request a comparable omakase meal on their own? (I mean, without having you or your dad along? :) )

    It was obviously a wonderful occasion!

    thanks again,
    Amata

    p.s. If I may ask, how much did this omakase cost?
  • Post #4 - April 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm
    Post #4 - April 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm Post #4 - April 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm
    How weird.Just this afternoon,on our way back from Starved Rock to Arl Hts i pulled off that insane Rt 59 to use the facilities at 7 Eleven.We were sitting next to Sakuma and both wondered how it was.Looks great!Thanks to all who just showed us that!
  • Post #5 - April 30th, 2006, 8:25 am
    Post #5 - April 30th, 2006, 8:25 am Post #5 - April 30th, 2006, 8:25 am
    gleam wrote:Are congratulations in order?

    Ed,

    I don't wish to speak out of school, but I believe there may be a bao in the steamer. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary (Who is happy as a clam at high tide for A2Fay and Sazerac.)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - April 30th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Post #6 - April 30th, 2006, 8:43 am Post #6 - April 30th, 2006, 8:43 am
    asami wrote:I had Hutch (my dad) call up Chef Sakuma letting him know that my foodie friends were interested in trying "something unusual" for their first omakase experience at Sakuma's.

    Asami,

    What an enjoyable evening, great conversation, delicious, interesting food, and terrific sake all presented in eye pleasing artistic fashion. It was very nice of you, and extremely generous of Hutch to use his, not inconsiderable, influence with Chef Sakuma, to shepherd our omakase. I'm looking forward to returning to Sakuma's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - April 30th, 2006, 8:54 am
    Post #7 - April 30th, 2006, 8:54 am Post #7 - April 30th, 2006, 8:54 am
    Wow, does that look good. Makes me want to drive to Steamwood. I have a question about the dessert however. How was it? We were in Japan last spring and red bean paste is ubiquitous. I tried it in a number of different preparations and did not like it. Thankfully, the Japanese are crazy about French pastries, so French bakeries are also common.
  • Post #8 - April 30th, 2006, 1:33 pm
    Post #8 - April 30th, 2006, 1:33 pm Post #8 - April 30th, 2006, 1:33 pm
    asami,

    thank you for the great post (and thanks to GWiv for the lovely photos, too). Do you think LTHers visiting Sakuma could request a comparable omakase meal on their own? (I mean, without having you or your dad along? Smile )

    It was obviously a wonderful occasion!

    thanks again,
    Amata

    p.s. If I may ask, how much did this omakase cost?


    Amata,

    Chef Sakuma agreed to do this omakase as $60 per person ($50 for the food, $10 for tip). As you'll see, he deviated from his standard courses for our visit (I'm not sure why). I also realized that we had a soup course -- clear broth with pureed mountain yam. I forgot because we didn't have a photo of it. I will make the correction in my original posting.

    I think Chef Sakuma will recognize the group name now. If you look on his wall and see a placemat-sized piece of white rice paper with some bamboo designs on the upper left corner with Sharpie marker signatures, that's the paper he asked us to sign. It says "LTH Forum" across the top. If you point to that, I think he will know that you read about his restaurant there and you can order your Omakase and price point, and I think you'll get more "adventurous" stuff than if you ordered without mentioning LTH. My dad and I got to eat things that were very different than usual on this trip, so this outing was special for us too! Keep in mind that you can make requests (like "no raw fish" or "I don't like shellfish" etc.) and he will try to accommodate. Please tell us how your meal went! I'm curious how long it will take for the LTH name to stick.

    Here's the Japanese Omakase menu (photo by GWiv):
    Image

    ...and the English translation:
    Omakase Courses

    A Course Price: $70.00
    - hors d'oeuvres
    - sashimi course
    - grilled course
    - dobin-mushi (a soup served in a earthenware tea pot) - this is my favorite and I was bummed they didn't serve it for our dinner
    - sushi course
    - daily special
    - soup course
    - dessert

    B Course Price: $60.00
    - hors d'oeuvres
    - sashimi course
    - grilled course
    - dobin-mushi (a soup served in a earthenware tea pot)
    - sushi course
    - soup course
    - dessert

    C Course Price: $40.00
    - hors d'oeuvres
    - sashimi course
    - dobin-mushi (a soup served in a earthenware tea pot)
    - sushi course
    - soup course
    - dessert

    "Sakuma" Course (for 2 people) Price: $100.00
    - hors d'oeuvres
    - sashimi course
    - dobin-mushi (a soup served in a earthenware tea pot)
    - sushi course
    - daily special
    - soup course
    - dessert

    Asami
  • Post #9 - April 30th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    Post #9 - April 30th, 2006, 1:50 pm Post #9 - April 30th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    I have a question about the dessert however. How was it? We were in Japan last spring and red bean paste is ubiquitous. I tried it in a number of different preparations and did not like it. Thankfully, the Japanese are crazy about French pastries, so French bakeries are also common.


    CTB,

    Red bean paste is ubiquitous in Japan and other Asian countries, and in my experience, many non-Asians dont' like it. I think it's a bit strange for many people to think of beans as a dessert ingredient, even though there are sweet preparations of beans in the non-Asian diet (i.e. pork and beans). The other obstacle is that red bean paste ("an" in Japanese) LOOKS kind of like chocolate, but doesn't taste anything like it. If you didn't like red bean paste in the various preparations you tried, I'm afraid you probably won't like our pretty desserts either.

    The dessert options at Sakuma often have red bean paste in it, but they also have green tea ice cream (any maybe vanilla as well). Usually, they ask us what we want for dessert, so you will probably have a choice. We had a large group so I think that's why we didn't have a choice. Plus, the kuzu-manju is the prettiest looking of the choices.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the western-style pastries in Japan. I have always marveled at how the Japanese ladies stay so slender when they eat so many "cake sets" -- coffee or tea (no refills included) plus a slice of cake. Japanese people like to have snack time around 3pm, and the many cafes are full of ladies enjoying their cake sets. The cakes look much like those sold at Mont Blanc in Arlington Heights, and most of the recipes are French/German/Swiss in origin, though there are some fusion items like green tea cake, etc.

    Asami
    Last edited by asami on April 30th, 2006, 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #10 - April 30th, 2006, 2:15 pm
    Post #10 - April 30th, 2006, 2:15 pm Post #10 - April 30th, 2006, 2:15 pm
    Asami,i wasn't the one who asked about the red been paste... but i am very familiar with it.Wife spent eight years in Tokyo after leaving her native Shanghai.It's not my favorite really.Seems i eat a Moon Cake every year though. :twisted:
  • Post #11 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Post #11 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm Post #11 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Grant,

    Oops! Sorry about that! It should have been CTB, and I've made the change.

    I should try a moon cake. We don't have those in Japan!

    asami
  • Post #12 - April 30th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Post #12 - April 30th, 2006, 8:12 pm Post #12 - April 30th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    asami wrote:All this was accompanied with a bottle of Okunomatsu Sake (tokubetsu junmai) from Fukuoka prefecture
    Image


    FYI for those who enjoyed the Okunomatsu sake:
    Bought a 1.8L bottle of the Okunomatsu Sake on sale at Mitsuwa last week (and another bottle this weekend) for $26.99 - they've got 3 types of sake on sale for $26.99; Tasted all three and prefer the Okunomatsu. Also tasted the unfiltered Nigori sake which was... not so good...
  • Post #13 - May 14th, 2006, 3:28 pm
    Post #13 - May 14th, 2006, 3:28 pm Post #13 - May 14th, 2006, 3:28 pm
    Asami wrote:
    "Red bean paste is ubiquitous in Japan and other Asian countries, and in my experience, many non-Asians don't like it. I think it's a bit strange for many people to think of beans as a dessert ingredient, even though there are sweet preparations of beans in the non-Asian diet (i.e. pork and beans). The other obstacle is that red bean paste ("an" in Japanese) LOOKS kind of like chocolate, but doesn't taste anything like it."


    Ack! Or perhaps I should say, "Golly!" For once, my gaijin-ness qualifies me unequivocally to post on something. The Lovely Dining Companion and I were out of town (sampling the local cuisine in Austria, actually) when y'all went to Sakuma. So truly sorry to have missed it. It's at the top of the list now; we returned and Das (and Rohini) raved about it. Then I read the Sakuma threads.

    First of all, thank you, Asami. Wonderful posts, truly fascinating reading, and although we loved Austria, we are both quite sorry to have missed this outing. We're grateful now to have been able to share, even if only vicariously. After Matsumoto, it will be intriguing to try Sakuma. It would have been better as a group, so if anyone is inclined to re-visit... (:wink:)

    However, I've got to take issue with your assertion that "many non-Asians don't like it"--"it" being red bean paste. Many years before I met Lovely Dining Companion (whose mom is Issei and dad was Nisei) I had fallen in love with an (being the Japanese name for the paste). I've made it on occasion (way too much work!) and its various incarnations are often the perfect way to end a meal. On the other hand, I can recall my wife's being more than a little surprised (not sure why) to discover that I also enjoy yokan (guess which flavor?). I would also hazard a guess that it wouldn't be as common a dessert ice-cream flavor if it weren't reasonably well-accepted. More generally, Japanese desserts in my experience have the (sometimes) highly welcome characteristic of being much simpler and less sweet than their American counterparts. Yes, I'll overdose on chocolate with the next guy, but sometimes restraint is highly enjoyable too. Russian ice cream is much that way, to my mind. But try the homemade orange jello at Renga-tei: truly a mind-opening experience!

    I have no doubt that there are those who are put off by the notion of "beans" as sweet (although I'm not sure I agree that it's color resembles chocolate; that notion never, frankly, occurred to me). Maybe the LTH circles we all travel in make us inclined, on occasion, to overestimate the openmindedness of others, but I would truly be surprised that "many" is correct. On the other hand, I've never taken a poll and Asami may well be right. I'm just posting to note my surprise, I guess.

    In any case, we're eagerly anticipating our first omakase there. And next month we're going back to LA to take LDC's mom out to Matsuhisa. It would make a wonderful comparison, culinarily.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #14 - September 2nd, 2006, 12:01 pm
    Post #14 - September 2nd, 2006, 12:01 pm Post #14 - September 2nd, 2006, 12:01 pm
    Thanks to all those who made another excursion of a smaller group to Sakuma possible. This time the goal was to try to get as Japanese a meal as possible-- which might be a lesson in being careful what you wish for. Not that what we had was too weird-- my weirdness frontier has pretty much been settled courtesy of the late restaurant Matsumoto-- but it meant we had some homey stuff which was interesting but less than totally appealing to people who hadn't grown up on it, while wishing that more of Sakuma's excellent fish had come our way.

    The first two courses-- which Trixie-Pea said she had also had, or close to it, in a recent bento lunch-- were quite wonderful. The first was a small arranged plate including a spicy lobster salad, a small fried ball of something or other, some salmon and some sweet red beans. Delicate, lovely, a great start. The next was sashimi of various sorts, excellent quality, enhanced with only the subtlest touches of, say, roe tucked inside a folded-over piece, and accompanied by real wasabi.

    Next was a teapot of broth, in which could be found bits of pork, shrimp, fish and mushroom-- and even the multicolored cracker that had been in a similar dish at Matsumoto. Pleasant enough, but not the surprise such a dish had been the first time I had it. This was followed by soft chunks of bamboo in a slightly sweet sauce with shavings of bonito-- I only ate half of it; and then a bowl of rice with seaweedy-tasting "mountain vegetables," accompanied by miso soup (no one needs two soups in one meal, that's all I can say), and finally a red bean dessert surrounded by brightly-colored marshmallowy things. Some interesting tastes and textures here, but... you got any more of that sashimi?

    On the plus side the price was reasonable for a tasting menu, on the minus side we quickly made it much less reasonable ordering sake, which is, shall we say, confidently priced at Sakuma.

    I have business out that way once in a while and have tried a few of the sushi restaurants in the Mitsuwa area, including the new food court at True World just last week; and I would say that Sakuma is easily the most impressive one for sashimi. So though I might not make Streamwood a destination from the city, I will be probably back for sashimi-- but not stewed bamboo.

    Thanks again to everyone who scoped this discovery out and made last night's meal possible.
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  • Post #15 - September 2nd, 2006, 9:02 pm
    Post #15 - September 2nd, 2006, 9:02 pm Post #15 - September 2nd, 2006, 9:02 pm
    Hutch & Missy (my parents) visited Sakuma today and Chef Sakuma happily announced that GWiv and friends had visited on Friday night. Chef Sakuma seemed very pleased and my parents got some bonus items, so they send their thanks! I logged onto the site to see if anyone had submitted their report, and of course there was one.

    A few explanations from my "conference call" with Hutch:
    The small fried ball of something or other is called ebi shinjyo and is made of shrimp surimi which is covered with tiny pastel colored rice cracker balls. It's yummy and very pretty, one of my favorite items in the omakase.

    The teapot of broth is called dobin-mushi, which literally means steamed clay pot. It's usually duck instead of pork, but that may be a seasonal change. I was super disappointed that Chef Sakuma did not serve this item for our first LTH outing because I think this is the best course in the omakase. I'm so glad it wasn't missed again.

    Usually, Chef Sakuma serves a clear broth soup (bonito and kelp broth) instead of miso soup. It's called osumashi with yamaimo (mountain potatoes, which are a bit slimy textured). Apparently, this recipe comes from the imperial kitchen. I recall GWiv really liked this item when we had it last time. Hopefully, you will get the osumashi instead next time.

    We can't figure out what the soft bamboo dish is, nor the dessert so I can't help you there.

    You can order more sashimi if you want more (though it may raise the price of the omakase)... it's usually a small portion because there is sushi at the end of the courses, which is more of the same stuff.

    I told Hutch that the sake is priced too "confidently," and he said he will pass that along. He will surely benefit if the prices are lowered, because he LOVES his sake.

    Chef Sakuma was very happy to receive a gift (honey?) from the party. That was really nice!

    So glad to hear that Friday's meal was enjoyable!

    asami
  • Post #16 - September 2nd, 2006, 11:13 pm
    Post #16 - September 2nd, 2006, 11:13 pm Post #16 - September 2nd, 2006, 11:13 pm
    Mike,

    To my thinking Chef Sakuma delivered exactly what was asked of him, a mid priced Japanese tasting meal that did not flex toward non Japanese.

    Interesting mixed starter, loved the shrimp ball, liked the lobster salad, really enjoyed the dense textured beans, liked the daikon, thought the salmon 'interesting'
    Image

    Sashimi was very nice and it's always a pleasure to be served actual wasabi root.
    Image

    Soup was presented in a lovely fashion, which also serves to concentrate aroma.
    Image
    Image

    Simmered Bamboo Shoot
    Image

    I quite enjoyed tempura eel and thought the light soup alongside rice with mountain vegetable a perfect way to "fill in the cracks" at the end of the meal.
    Image

    Dessert was sweetened red bean with tapioca pearls, which I quite enjoyed, especially the tapioca pearls.
    Image

    All in all a very nice meal, Chef Sakuma and his lovely wife Seiji are gracious hosts. Thanks also to Hutch and Asami, as soon as I mentioned Hutch's name to Chef Sakuma when I made the reservation we were off and running. There is a great deal of mutual respect.

    We brought a small jar of orange blossom honey, just something I thought Chef Sakuma might enjoy.

    I'll be back for the Chef's choice, but my next time at Sakuma will likely be sashimi focused.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - September 3rd, 2006, 9:48 am
    Post #17 - September 3rd, 2006, 9:48 am Post #17 - September 3rd, 2006, 9:48 am
    Trix and I were so enamored with our maiden voyage to Sakuma a few weeks ago that we felt it was easily worth another pilgrimage to Streamwood. Although I still overall enjoyed the omakase meal so graciously prepared for us by chef Sakuma this past Friday night, sticking with dishes that showcase their incredible fish was my preference. I had the chirachi my first visit and it blew my socks off. Simple techniques like soaking the ikura in sake and using a high quality rice made it the best example of the dish I’ve had anywhere. Trixie’s bento box was a true work of art.

    As far as the sake that the gentlemen talked about above, I didn’t find anything wrong with charging $20 for a 30cl bottle of fantastic junmai ginjo (Jizake). What I did find odd, though, was that I believe they were charging $35 for 37cl of the same sake with a more artistic bottle! Maybe something here was lost in translation. That happens sometimes.

    Although I walked out this time less than blown away, I have a strong desire to once again revisit Sakuma in the near future.
  • Post #18 - October 8th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    Post #18 - October 8th, 2006, 7:26 pm Post #18 - October 8th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    link to Asami's first post on Sakuma's

    :oops: ^<sup>lots</sup> I'm a bit embarrassed at posting after so long; though not so embarrassed that I don't post at all…

    I really should have posted much earlier, my enjoyment of my meal there is directly proportional to the length of time it has taken me to post. I've had just the one meal there, the one organized by Asami, the pictures I took are nearly identical to the ones by GWiv (Asami's report). I really wanted to go back to try the sushi, but the distance and my then preparations to leave Chicago prevented my doing so. Sakuma's is a gem of a place, I hope more people go and reports follow for my vicarious enjoyment. To that end then, a few words and pics.
    I'll try to avoid too much redundancy, Asami has already mentioned what dishes we had - maybe I can elaborate a bit on what some of them tasted like (I still remember them clearly). When we went, A2fay wasn't eating raw fish* and was prepared to order off the menu (instead of omakase). Chef Sakuma took this in stride and substituted cooked dishes in courses which had raw items. A2fay's enjoyment was total, she didn't miss having raw items.

    First course: Zensai (see Asami's post above) all pics clickable for larger views
    Image - this was a great course, with multiple elements and tastes. The sata-imo I looked up later is taro root, which if you've ever cooked, you'll know can turn slimy. What we got, was perfectly turned and precisely cooked in a rich broth, the edamame puree on top a perfect complement.


    Instead of the carpaccio course,
    Image
    A2fay received fried shrimp balls
    Image
    and instead of the tuna tataki
    Image
    she received a course of tempura.
    Image

    All of these were great examples of what they are, though perhaps I was left wondering if in fact chef Sakuma was making small allowances for non-Japanese sensibilities**.
    The cold beef shabu shabu cooked in milk had a creaminess and lightness that was perfect at that point in the meal.
    Image
    A2fay received instead, a gently warmed bamboo shoot in citrusy broth.
    Image
    It might have been one of the best dishes of the night, though I only got two bites and there were many very good dishes.

    Chef Sakuma and his son, preparing our sushi course.
    Image

    The sushi course was fabulous.
    Image
    Image
    Chef Sakuma's great skill was transparent in the ethereal custardy tamago, his touch in marinating the tuna (maguro no zuke) was deft and delightful. The shrimp nigiri ball with crunchy masago inside was great. This was excellent sushi, and one of the reasons I really wanted to to go back (still do!) for a totally sushi/sashimi omakase. (PIGMON, I'm envious of your chirashi outing) The seasoning was perfect – rice and fish.
    A2fay received instead a tempura unagi in sauce
    Image
    - this apparently is in the appetizer menu named after Asami's dad, Hutch. Crunchy and soft, with with the unagi sweetness in a creamy-ish sauce. A2fay was happy (I liked it too) and she (almost) didn't eye my sushi course.

    The suimono (clear soup) was an excellent end.
    Image
    I often get soup at the end of my sushi meals, and rue the fact that I always get miso soup instead of my desired suimono. This really made me happy.
    Dessert - perfect bite sized and not too sweet.
    Image
    Image
    The sake we had with the meal was excellent. Crisp and slightly citrus-y, it went well with the meal.

    Some other pictures from that night:

    Carved eggs for sale
    ImageImage

    These and other pics can be viewed here

    For what we paid that night (the sake may not have been factored in) it was an incredible meal. We drove an hour and some back to Hyde Park. It was totally worth the drive. I do hope people get over the seemingly long drive. For the kind of food one can get at Sakuma's, it's not that far.

    edited to add random bit of trivia:
    Chef Sakuma apparently trained with a (former) Iron Chef Japanese. Former as in pre-Morimoto (can't remember for sure if it was Michiba Rokusaburo)

    -----
    ** I did find that there was a touch of sweetness to most dishes – I'm not sure if this was standard or a bend to accommodate (perceived) non-Japanese tastes. I'm certain the umbrella in the tataki was an overture in that direction.

    *gleam, thanks. A2Fay isn't too keen on announcements in a public forum, so I will neither confirm nor deny anything :). In other words, as far as A2Fay is concerned: mum's the word :twisted: (You have no idea how long I've been holding that one in) :D

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