Shigeyoshi | Tokyo | Dec ’14 | “supon”

3 Jan
  • Meal Rating: 17/20
  • Address: 6-35-3 Corp Olympia 1st floor, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo
  • Telephone: 03-3400-4044
  • Dining Time: 100 minutes
  • Chef: Kenzo Sato
  • Style: Kappo (counter) Kaiseki
  • Michelin Stars: 2

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Shigeyoshi. Chef Kenzo Sato has been working at this restaurant for 40 years, and named the restaurant after his own mentor. He procures the best ingredients, and presents them very simply. One is invited to savor the pristine qualities of the ingredients. The most memorable dishes were a clam soup that was a meditation on the marine, a whole female snow crab served with eggs and guts, and the silky sweetness of his wonderful supon (snapping turtle soup).

Other Notable Links:

  • tomostyle has two write-ups on Shigeyoshi, on the strength of which I visited the restaurant – you can see them here: ONE, TWO

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  • Persimmon sauce, savory cream of a root vegetable (pressed to identify it, I’d say taro/yam)

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  • Hamaguri clam soup (Hamaguri “the common orient clam”, or Meretrix lusoria from the Tokyo bay)
    • A very clean, sweet taste of the sea (4.75/5)

2014-12-16 11.24.15

  • Matoya oyster from Mie
    • Matoya oysters are purified with UV rays. Chef Sato believes these are the best oysters in Japan
    • The oyster was primarily textural, not sweet and not cucumber (in the way Kumamoto oysters from Washington state are). It was also not salty. The texture was crunchy, with a gossamer outer sheet – the oyster mantle. It was a mild cornucopia of texture, bringing out heat and sourness of its condiments (4.25/5).

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  • Gingko nuts
    • Pleasingly bitter, in a contained way. Lightly salted. These were end of season nuts

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  • Matsuba Gani (snow crab, female)
    • Served with its meat in its own shell – a luxury of nose-to-tail dining (or is that carapace-to-shell dining?). Its own eggs and guts on top. But the magical moment was when I tasted the sour soy sauce poured into the shell (4.75/5)

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  • Supon (snapping turtle soup)
    • A Shigeyoshi signature, and the first of two times I was served supon on this trip. (the other time, at Den). A sweet beguiling taste which stretches out like a lazy cat across your tongue, coating it with the silky texture and mild taste of the soup. (5/5) Turtle, from Yoshinogawa, Tokushima preferecture
    • Note to self: The fragrance reminded me of the kuehs that were dipped into orange coconut sugar. I can’t recall their names though, and a Google search turns up nothing.

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  • Sashimi (otoro, yari-ika, white fish)
    • The white fish was firm, not chewy – clear and muscular.
    • I found the most intriguing the yari-ika (spear squid) – it was prepared from the inner tentacles deep inside the squid head, once it has been de-membraned. A bite seemed to release starchy sweetness. It was only bettered on this trip by the ika at Ginza Kojyu (4.75/5)

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  • Amadai and gobo
    • Amadai, taken from the area just behind the gills.
    • Salted skin. (4/5) Pickled gobo.

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  • Wild radish from near Kyoto
    • Mild tasting dashi
    • (sic) “jibiye?”

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  • Shrimp kakiage
    • Tasted good, but the batter was a bit soggy. (3.75/5)

2014-12-16 12.39.39

  • Grapefruit jelly
    • Bitter/refreshing

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