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Dec 15, 2013 05:04 PM

An Early Christmas Omakase at Shunji Japanese Cuisine

With only two weeks left in the year, I may as well call it: along with the legendary truffle gohan dinner in October, this latest dinner was my best meal of 2013. Shunji-san continues to outdo himself and surprise me. Just stunning. And Yuko-san was a truly wonderful host as always.

Enough gushing, I'll let the pictures do the talking. No flash umbrella, but I did post-process them within an inch of their lives. It also helps that Shunji-san is now used to the excessive photo-taking and will place things appropriately, if somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

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  1. Can you write down the list of dishes you had to correspond with the photographs ?????

    Thanks man.

    17 Replies
    1. re: kevin

      Of course! Are you going again?

      1. Crab on purée with four types of mushrooms.
      2. Zensai of persimmon, ankimo, bleu cheese ball, tako, roe, ginko nuts and sazae.
      3. Uni on gelée, tender duck breast, and a beautifully fresh cherry tomato.
      4. Leatherjack/snapper/bream sashimi platter, with one slightly aburi'd. Served with sides of shoyu/wasabi and ponzu/daikon. A knockout.
      5. Shrimp tartare, uni, and fried shrimp head. The tartare and uni can be eaten with the radish or as a sauce for the head (wow). This is his signature dish, which he's been making at various restaurants for ten years now. He made this with spiny lobster when I was there in October with TheOffalo and chrishei.
      6. Hamachi toro!
      7. Paper-thin miyazaki wagyu with uni. Fist-clenching, counter-pounding, out-of-this-world good. Several jaws dropped around the counter when he put this one together.
      8. Grilled oyster from the kitchen. Slurp the juices.
      9. Soba with gently steamed fish from the kitchen. Named after region in Japan where these ingredients are found, but which I've forgotten, as by this point two orders of sake were taking their toll...
      10. Also forgotten, see above for excuse.
      11. Shiako
      12. Sanma
      13. Mirugai
      14. Kohada
      15. Tamago (ask Shunji-san about his plans for a chicken farm out back).

      And somehow I missed a picture of the akami/chu-toro pair! See attached.

      1. re: stravaigint

        looks great -- was just there recently and had much of the sushi stuff -- one weird thing that I didn't try before but did this time was essentially cod sperm sack. Sorry don't know technical term. it was served in dashi and shunji couldn't resist calling it creamy. It was really good but i'm not sure i want to eat it again knowing what it is!

        1. re: jessejames

          Shirako is the name I believe, buddy.

          1. re: kevin

            thanks kevin -- not jizzaki? i think i'll sub in toro collar next time!

        2. re: stravaigint

          Just another standard Shunji omakase, AKA amazing. But I'm surprised you only got a few pieces of nigiri lol.

          #9 is the Shinshu-mushi (according to Yuko-san, Shinshu is the former name for what is now Nagano). I also had it for my dinner the week before - great for the "freezing" weather.

          1. re: chrishei

            I was getting full by the time the nigiri started. It might have something to do with the tsukemen, winter melon boba and five scoops of ice cream I'd already eaten =.=

            Yes, Shinshu-mushi! Very comforting.

            1. re: stravaigint

              Excuses, excuses...

              Just kidding. Definitely a filling day.

            2. re: chrishei

              another good one shunji deployed last week and new to me (like shirako) was this one with the seaweed wrap around and a big pile of these tiny pearly white shrimp. quite good. I've had lots of sushi in my life and i love that i can try new things with shunji. Tho i doubt i would have had the shirako had i known what it was first. Probably why shunji gave a sort of vague description at first.

              1. re: jessejames

                Sounds like shiro-ebi. Did it come out of a round, plastic container? He served it back in July as nigiri - delicious!

                The first time I had shirako, at Kisaku in Seattle nearly ten years ago, it was presented to me with no explanation, totally deadpan.

                1. re: stravaigint

                  Awesome. It was nigiri but like the uni there with seaweed. I think ur right about name. Dynamite! Shunji is a stud.

            3. re: stravaigint

              The price is probably reasonable right like 125 per without drinks, right ? Since it doesn't seem like you had the spiny lobster or truffle gohan or any other dishes topped with truffles this time.

              Can you please explain what you mean by "plans about a chicken farm out back" ??????

              What was the damage ????????

              1. re: kevin

                You must have noticed by now that I don't discuss omakase prices - sorry Kevin!

                Yes, chicken farm, so he can make farm-to-table tamago. Ask him next time you're in ;)

                  1. re: jessejames

                    Only the NSA and Snowden know for sure...(you don't want to compromise National Security do you?).

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Been bout 150 pp for me great meals many bonus rounds on omakase. At least you do get what you pay for. We have had such fun.

              2. re: stravaigint

                Hopefully going again for that truffle gohan.

                But I'm BK for now. Not to be confused with the king.

              3. Speaking of Shunji and rare stuff, he has some gorgeous looking kuruma ebi on his Facebook page.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Porthos

                  I almost made it there for lunch today.

                  Too bad I didn't.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Hand grenades and horse shoes...

                  2. re: Porthos

                    Hes a fucking stud. Chowhound chef of the year for me!

                    1. re: Porthos

                      Had some yesterday at lunch! As good as they look!

                          1. re: kevin

                            Live shrimp on the left. Raw on top, cooked on bottom. No truffles involved. I think you have truffles on the brain. ;-)

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              Truffles, yes, on the ol' pea brain.