Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shira Nui

On a late Saturday evening , D and I decided on an impromptu date night. We were both tired from all the cleaning and house moving so I decided to call and try my luck at Shira Nui. It must have been our lucky day because the restaurant was fully booked but they had 2 no shows at the bar so we snapped it up and were out the door driving there within the next 30 seconds.

Getting a seat at the bar meant we were restricted to the omakase and nothing from their a la carte menu, but that didn't bother us as it was what we wanted to order anyway. The communication that you will get from the sushi chef is generally very simple as well; either to eat the sushi with or without soy sauce.

First up was duckfish nigiri, this was a lovely white fatty fish with a delicate taste. With a bit of wasabi and soy it was a great way to start the set.

Second was pan fried salmon. This is a personal favourite of mine when we go for sushi, I love the teriyaki sauce on a piece of just seared salmon.  The sauce highlights the natural sweetness in the fish once cooked lightly.

Third was mackeral with seaweed. The sheet of seaweed around the fish was a sweet seaweed and acted to balance out the strong mackeral taste. The shimichi and spring onion within the wrapping added a heightened taste but personally I think the spring onion spoiled it with the strong aroma.

Fourth was yakiniku beef. This is nothing out of the ordinary but a classic goodie with the beef cooked medium rare. I loved the sweet chilli daikon jam on top of it.

Fifth was a fresh arkshell clam nigiri, this has a very bland taste on it's own and is more of a texture fish. This one definitely had to be eaten with soy!

Sixth was the seared tuna belly steak with chili daikon jam. I am normally not a big fan of tuna, but the chilli daikon with the shimichi was the perfect balance. It was more on the sweet side but that suited me just fine.

Seventh was the miso ocean trout belly. The sweet miso was infused into the flesh of the fish making every bite full of a miso flavoured burst.

Eighth was miso kingfish. Kingfish is my favourite fish when it comes to fresh Japanese fish related cuisines. I am generally skeptical of people adding too much to this fish as I find it just takes away from the natural flavours of the fish. However this time I was surprised as the miso with Kingfish was nicer than I had imagined in my head but I think the sugar content in the miso did slightly hardened the texture of the fish.

Ninth was an oyster mornay ikura (official last piece if you don't choose to continue). This was flamed in the kitchen unlike many of the other seared fishes. A big pocket of creaminess on rice. I would prefer the oyster to be slightly less damp but that is nothing major that would stop me from liking it.

Being the pig that I am, I chose to add 2 more to our omakase. The tenth was a salmon belly torched to give it a scrumptious, seared finished. With a bit of soy, it was a good salmon nigiri in my opinion.

Final nigiri for the night was the sea eel. This was a large piece of eel, lightly grilled with a soft drizzle of sweet soy on a tiny bed of rice.

To finish off we were given a fruity granita as a pallet cleanser.

Overall 17/20 I find that Shira Nui does well in what it aims to specialise in. The sushi plated up is fresh and the technique used is commendable. It is a classic styled omakase so it doesn't pretend to be fancy and add fusion in selection. It doesn't compare to the freshness you would get at eating in the fish markets in Japan but that is understandable. This place is an institution for a reason.


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