February 05, 2017 01:00 By Manta Klangboonkrong The Sunday Nation
The Michelin-starred Sushi Zo opens a branch in Bangkok
SUSHI ZO, one of the leading stars of the US capital of sushi – Los Angeles – has touched down in Bangkok. Awarded a Michelin star in Los Angeles in 2009 and a second Michelin Star in New York last year, the omakase-style sushi restaurant at Athenee Plaza Tower is set to delight Bangkok’s foodies with seafood and sushi rice dishes prepared with the very best ingredients imported from Japan.
Omakase is Japanese for “leave it to you”, and it is a dining style where patrons trust in the chef’s selection of the food to be served. That means there is no menu and the offerings frequently vary depending on the quality of the seafood and other ingredients available each day, making it an interesting and surprising dining experience. Considered as the best way to enjoy sushi, this tradition of letting the chef choose your order allows you to marvel at his creativity and flair while enjoying the highest quality seafood.
Everyday Sushi Zo flies in fresh fish and seafood from three of Japan’s top fish markets – Hokkaido in the north, Tsukiji near Tokyo and Kyushu in the south – which allows the restaurant to serve the finest seasonal fish all year round. The rice, drinking water and sake are all imported from Japan too, mainly from Hokkaido.
The chefs must prove themselves trustworthy through a detailed process that covers a perfect balance of rice creation that includes cooking, seasoning and temperature control, and extraordinary skills and techniques for making flawless, not-too-tight and not-too-loose sushi rice, slicing the fish and simplistic dish decoration.
Fatty tuna or chu toro
Keizo Seki, the Osaka-born chef who founded Sushi Zo in 2006, has entrusted his Los Angeles executive chef Toshi Onishi to head Sushi Zo in Bangkok.
Mastering the balance of eastern Japanese finesse and West Los Angeles’ creativity, Onishi is a perfectionist. He insist that his rice is made with specific Hokkaido deep-well
water and seasoned with specific proportions of red and white Japanese vinegar to deliver a full textured and balanced grain that’s served close to body temperature. His skilled craftsmanship and experience allow him to keenly evaluate each material’s freshness for an uncompromising result.
Dessert of seasonal fresh fruit
An omakase sushi meal often starts with an appetiser that preps the palate and whets the appetite, then continues from light flavours to heavier, heartier ones – from red snapper, tuna amani to fattier, richer chu toro (fatty tuna), sea urchin, salmon egg and so forth. Rare fish types selected by Onishi include yagara (cornetfish), hagatsuo (skip jack), and ankimo (monkfish liver), which are sourced from all over the world and served seasonally at Sushi Zo Bangkok.
In between the courses, there are often non-sushi items such as soup, egg custard or braised seafood. The meal usually ends with seasonal fresh fruits from Japan to cleanse the palate, and a freshly made matcha green tea.
If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, tell the chefs well in advance so they can prepare something else for you.
>> Sushi Zo is on the ground level of Athenee Plaza Tower on Soi Ruamrudee. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday for dinner only from 5 to 9.30pm.
>> A 20-course dinner is served at 5.30 and 8pm and costs from Bt7,000.
>> Reservations should be made two days in advance at (02) 168 8490.