Ikezukuri at Heat - Need a Report
I'm intrigued by the concept of ikezukuri - the
"live" sushi served at the restaurant
called Heat and would love to hear from
'hounds who've been there and eaten that.
Is it really wonderful? (Sounds like it
to me from the description in the May
issue of Food & Wine.) Also their Sake
Shirako Shooter sounds like a pretty wacky
drink (sake & cod sperm?!?). I'd be interested
in hearing from anyone who's tried that too.
re: Erik M.
I thought I would take a minute to repond to your post by telling you about my experience at Heat. I went with a large groups of friends (a sushi club), and we were all eager to try this restaurant we had heard so much about. On looking at their menu, there were some things that definitely separated it from your average sushi restaurant, the most predominant being their Ikezukuri or "live" menu. First, being someone who doesn't make millions a year, I must tell you that their live menu is very pricey, but if you can deal with the expense the food is excellent. Based on what our waiter told us (they will run through the entire menu describing the various things on it) several of our group were able to make some great choices. We all opted to sample small dishes off of the live menu instead of making it our main meal. I you're up for it, you could literally walk in off the street, find out what fish is fresh in the tank, and make your selection by pointing. They then will prepare the fish very rapidly, beautifully arrange and garnish the dish, and in some cases bring it to your table still moving (the fish is not alive, but its nerves are still reacting.) I must warn you however that in the case of live fish they prepare by the pound, and I believe when we went, the live prices averaged somewhere around $80/lb., and there isn't much to eat on a one pound fish. Instead, I definitely recommend doing one of two things, either order small unusual dishes off the live menu and couple it with the chef's sushi selection (the chef will choose ten pieces of amazingly fresh fish for you - some not on the menu), or get the tasting menu - a nine course extravaganza (that usually includes a dish or two off the live menu) coupled with wine. In the end, I opted for the tasting menu and was not disappointed. I wound up having two things off the live menu, the most notable being a glass eel shooter w/ ponzu sauce (and yes the eels were still moving when the waiter coated them with ponzu and I ate them). All in all the fish was amazingly fresh, the presentation was done nicely, and I can't wait to go back again. Two additional pieces of advice - plan on spending anywhere from $70-110 per person (more if you want to sample their large sake menu), and make reservations early to get the most waitstaff attention.