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Late Spring Omakase at Shunji Japanese Cuisine: A Pictorial Essay

Verdict: Chef Shunji is really hitting his stride at this new location. This was an amazing meal, including three fish I've never tried before: Aka yagara (cornetfish), Isaki (grunt), and Kisu (silver whiting). The cooked food & the sushi were both outstanding.

Highlights included:

- Tai (red snapper) Uo-Somen (fish paste noodles), Enoki Mushrooms, Yuba (tofu skin), Okra & Summer Truffles, in a Yuzu Dashi Broth, Topped with Foie Gras Shavings... No more after June 30th

- Squid Ink "Pasta", with Uni, Truffle & Uzura Tamago (quail egg)

- Agedashi Tomato "Tofu", with Nasu (eggplant), Shishito Pepper

- Gently Cooked Uni in Fig

- Sazae (turbinate shell conch) Sashimi, with Kimo (liver), Garnished with Farmer's Market Baby Scallion & Radish

Price: I "hybridized" the meal by asking the Chef if he could combine cooked elements and sushi, so it came out to an above-average night at $200 per person (including 1 draft Sapporo). BUT each standard omakase format, by themselves, costs much less.

I can't wait for the summer menu...

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  1. Oh, my! Another delicious selection of photos from J.L. Once again, brilliant work.

    1. Wonderful photos. Bravo.

      1. Wow, J.L. $200/person? That's 2.5 times the price of the normal $80 omakase. That's like a Shunji omakase AND a Kiriko omakase together! :-) If my count's right, you've got a dozen dishes followed by a dozen pieces of sushi. Nice!

        3 Replies
        1. re: PeterCC

          Peter don't know how to break it to you but there is no Kiriko $80 omakase. It'll run around $120.

          JL could have got like 10 hand roll lunches though! ;)

          1. re: Porthos

            Actually, Kiriko's menu says their omakase ranges from $80 to $120 (and up, of course), but I was referring to J.L.'s $200 meal being the same price as one of Shunji's normal omakase ($80) plus one of Kiriko's omakase ($120; see, I did properly price Kiriko's average--in cost, not in quality--omakase).

            1. re: PeterCC

              I know what it says but it's consistently been over $100 since 2 years ago without JL's upgrades. If you get around to it, you'll see.

        2. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I was especially hungry that day...

          6 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            Was this part of your food crawl? I think your Kiriko omakase was before that weekend, but the Ración, Sweethome Grill, Dean Sin World, those were all part of your crawl.

            1. re: PeterCC

              No, not part of that particular food crawl - Just eating out a lot these days. And, if time permits, reporting back on some of it.

              1. re: J.L.

                Darn, another pricey meal, it does look good though. Yeah, I concur with Pete though that it was double and a half the normal cost of an omakase at shunji's, although he probably had double and a half the number of dishes.

                But what I really want to know is he is still serving the monkfish liver mousse balls as well as the bleu cheese potato balls topped with dried persimmon. Those were a couple of the best dishes that I have had in months.

                1. re: kevin

                  Did you see my photos, kevin? See photos 3, 4, & 5...

                  1. re: J.L.

                    J.L. What's the prosciutto(?)-wrapped bread-looking thing in pic 7? Was the fig uni dish pics 14/15? Was the sazae pic 19?

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      Pic 7: Okara (tofu paste, or soy pulp) with Kani (crab), Shiitake Mushrooms, Wrapped by Prosciutto Ham

                      Yes, Pics 14 & 15: Fig &Uni

                      Pic: Sazae (turbinate shell conch) with Kimo (liver), Baby Scallions, Radish

          2. Very nice!

            For the fish geeks in us:

            キス【鱚】kisu - Japanese whiting (Japanese sillago)
            イサキ/いさき【鶏魚/伊佐木】isaki - chicken (three-line) grunt
            アカヤガラ【赤簳/赤矢柄】aka-yagara - red cornetfish (Japanese rifle fish)

            1. Damn it J.L., you did it again...

              Was trying to cut down on dining out this month (already decided on passing up monthly Kiriko visit), but I might have to go back to Shunji, either for the spring omakase 1 more time, or for the summer one (later this month?).

              1. Went to Shunji this evening and wanted to report a few offerings that they had:

                Foie Gras Saikyo-Yaki (Saikyo miso-marinated and then grilled)
                Steamed Kegani (Hokkaido Hairy Crab)
                An assortment of specials for sushi/sashimi, including Kisu (Silver Whiting), Shirauo (Ice Fish), and Suzuki (Japanese Sea Bass), among at least a half dozen others.
                A sushi special for $50 consisting of 10 pieces of Shunji's choice and one hand roll.

                With the expanded list of fish and the sushi special, it seems that Shunji has been growing his sushi service from when he first opened and had stopped serving sushi as part of his omakase.

                5 Replies
                1. re: PeterCC

                  Nice update! Kegani and suzuki, time for a repeat visit. Odd, I always thought kegani was a fall/winter item.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I did not have time to try the kegani last night, but Yuko, the hostess/waitress said I could try it next time, as it was in season. *shrug*

                    Here's last Q&A in this FAQ on the official Hokkaido tourism website (http://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/faq/index...):

                    "When is the best season for eating crab? And where is the best place to eat?"

                    "We have various kinds of crab in Hokkaido such as hairy crab, king crab, blue king crab and so on. Blue king crab is caught around Nemuro. They are in season around May to September. Hairy crab and king crab seasons differ depending on the area. The number of hairy crabs generally begins to increase from early winter to spring on the Pacific Ocean side, such as Hidaka, Tokachi, and Kushiro. Also, on the Sea of Okhotsk side, such as Abashiri, the numbers increase from mid-winter to summer. Usually, people enjoy crabs at crab restaurants, or traditional Japanese restaurants which serve local dishes. However, also you can enjoy crabs at small restaurants close to fish markets, or at seasonal events such as Shukaku-Sai (Harvesting Festivals) held in the fall in areas all around Hokkaido. It is a unique way to enjoy crabs for tourists."

                    So I guess you could get it any time from early winter to spring or from mid-winter to summer, depending on where it's being fished... or crabbed.

                  2. re: PeterCC

                    Did you have the foie gras, kegani, kisu, ice fish, japanese sea bass and half a dozen others for 50 dollars? ??? If so, not bad considering there was the foie in there too.

                    What was the hand rolll?

                    thanks for the update, maybe i'll go there for this meal rather than the 80 kaiseki.

                    does he offer blue crab hand rolls now too?

                    1. re: kevin

                      No, I did not have the special. I was short on time, so I just ordered items a la carte. If I recall correctly (I've been in a food coma from my tour), the foie was $20, the sushi (two pieces each of the kisu, shirauo, and suzuki) was $25 or $30, and the tomato tofu was $10. Did not have time to try the kegani.

                      Yes, he's always offered blue crab hand rolls. His hand rolls are a little different in form. They are not conical. Rather, they look like fat cigars, almost like a maki roll before it's cut, but he does them by hand (if I recall correctly), not using a makisu.

                  3. Last night I had the Tai Uo-Somen, Enoki Mushrooms, Yuba , Summer Truffles, in a Yuzu Dashi Broth - no foie on that one this time - it was truly magnificent. Even better than the squid ink/quail egg/truffle dish which I find a little to heave. This one is sooo light and lovely.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      Damn, I may need to visit there again. Maybe I'll just order off the menu instead of omakase.

                      Bob, what else you have there, did you order from the menu? And what were the damages/


                      1. re: kevin

                        Had about 12 dishes some sashimi style, some sushi style, some small dish style - octopus, beltfish, kisu, Ice Fish, Kohada, bluefin tuna, yellowtail, Aji are the ones I recall now.
                        A beer and two sake's - $135