Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yo-yo-yoshida & NinjaHelloKitty!

Sushi Yoshida
10 Devonshire Road
Tel: 67355014

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If I knew the man and was his friend I think I would be inclined to say something really annoying like, “yo-yo-yoshida!” every time I meet Yoshida-san. Maybe it is a good think I don’t know him personally. I have, however, gotten to know his restaurant a little better over the course of this year.

My latest outing to Yoshida was with the one and only NinjaHelloKitty (ninjahk), to celebrate his birthday and of course to eat some damn good sushi. Our original plan was to scale the steps and to lunch at Flutes at the Fort, but my stomach was crying out for some Japanese food and I decided that ninjahk’s aging knees would be happier with Yoshida, since every time I mention Flutes at the Fort, he would tell me about the potentially treacherous steps, especially after one of those slow-food lunches. So yo-yo-yoshida (sorry, I couldn’t resist) was the obvious choice.

We walked past the outdoor prep station, over the tiny tiny tiny wooden bridge, said hello to the plastic lobster that was half-hiding underneath it, passed under the noren and took our seats at the sushi bar.

We pored over the a la carte and the set lunch menus while watching the chefs work in a very economic manner in their tight kitchen and our geeky food bloggerish conversation drifted from wondering what the chef was up to, what we wanted to eat, to debating about macro abilities of our digital cameras. Lunch choices for me was a toss-up between the chirashi and the sushi set and since I had the former the last time stole away to this oasis for lunch, I decided for us that we would have the sushi sets. After all, it is hard not to order sushi or their recommended seasonal sashimi platter in Sushi Yoshida. Ninjahk on the other hand, had more indulgent treats on his mind and determined that we should have a serving of swordfish sashimi, which they unfortunately did not serve and so dictated to the wait staff that we would have an order of chu-toro sashimi and kaisenmushi, well I guess if you don’t enjoy and eat deliciously on your birthday, when will you?

The set lunch started with an appetiser as what the restaurant terms as the tamago course, which is a cold semi-cooked or a very soft soft boiled egg that swims in a dark pond of yuzu-infused sauce that aromatic and refreshing at the same time is a very whetting and scrumptious treat.

While waiting and closely watching the sushi chefs slice and dice and lightly sear some fish or melt some mayonnaise on their sushi pieces with a blow torch, we enjoyed two more interlude courses, the very fresh and melt-in-your-mouth chu-toro that was served with a ginger-infused soy and a normal tamari and the very gentle custard chawamushi that was topped with a very generous piece of uni and popping ikura. All very good, and then they laid our sushi plates before us, ah…this is what we came for, the sushi.

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I think I can safely say that it is hard to have bad sushi at Sushi Yoshida. After all, they get air-flown fresh fish up to four times a week and he has trained under our own sushi yoda, Nogawa-san of Nogawa and Akane. That afternoon’s sushi was no different and it was thrilling to eat piece after piece of different tasting and textured slices of raw fish along with vinegared rice. The highlight of the selection was something that neither ninjahk nor I had tasted before – raw white bait – that was slippery and popped in my mouth. It was an excellent and a very filling lunch, I insisted that the ninjahk take a picture of the plastic lobster, after which I slowly and sadly dragged my feet back to work, still thinking sushi and hoping against hope that all that rice would not make me feel sleepy at the desk.

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* This image is provided by NinjaHelloKitty

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