2401 2nd Ave
I have had Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant on my wishlist for a few years, ever since I learned about the master-student relationship between Japan’s revered sushi master Jiro Ono, and Shiro Kashiba. When I recently found myself on a short notice trip to Seattle, I was elated to learn that we scored a dinner reservation.
Unfortunately Kashiba-san was out of town, so we were at the mercy of his deshi. The many reviews out there, state that the best seat in the house is at the sushi bar (which was full), so we opted for the Kaiseki dinner to give us an opportunity to try a variety of dishes. With three price-points to choose from, we went with the $80 middle option.
We begin with a trio of appetizers: tempura of king salmon wrapped with smelt, asparagus with a miso dressing, and yellowtail collar. At first glance, I thought we were given a fried salmon roll, but the tempura of two variety of fish with a squeeze of lemon made this the stand-out of the trio.
Namamono (fresh dish): Sashimi of big-eye tuna, ginger and green onions wrapped with smelt, yellowtail, king salmon, and mackerel. Each piece was exceptional – truly exceptional.
Spicy tuna maki, and nigiri sushi of geoduck, shrimp, Alaskan king salmon, yellowtail, and big-eye tuna. The spicy tuna was the weakest player, but I found the local geoduck to be a nice surprise. However, the firm and almost crunchy texture was not a hit with my dining companions. All of my markers for quality nigiri sushi were met – leaving me generally satisified.
The Futamono (lidded dish), was Asari-miso. This is my personal favorite preparation, as the clams add a unique flavour characteristic. Our server noted that these were Manila Clams, which I am assuming were the same as those I saw at Pike’s Fish Market a few blocks down the road.
This was served in quick succession with the mushimono (steamed dish) of Chawan-mushi. This dish doesn’t seem to excite many diners with its texture akin to silken tofu, but this savoury egg custard is usually flavoured with a dashi stock. As you progress through this particular steamed tea-cup custard, you encounter mushrooms, shrimp, and a gingko nut. I have fond memories of this dish which really made my day, but as I expected – my dining companions weren’t as thrilled.
The dinner ended with some sliced Asian pear and yet another pleasant surprise – persimmon fruit ( kaki ).
I found this experience to be very satisfying as it brought back many fond memories of classic Japanese cuisine. I will note that my dining companions were not as equally impressed, primarily due to some items (or more specifically, textures) which they didn’t love. I would guess that my friends would come back, if they could get a seat at the sushi bar for a night of quality sushi/sashimi and sake.
Would I come back? Definitely!