But when I was invited to a tasting at Itacho Sushi recently, I was surprised to find that good quality sashimi and sushi can be still be found at affordable prices.
Itacho apparently sources their fish directly from a wholesaler in Japan and that may explain the freshness in their fish and also, they have a very experienced sushi chef overseeing their Singapore outlets.
Recently, they were also running a special blue fin tuna promotion and it was a delight to partake in some of their latest offerings.
Chef Yamamoto is a master in all things sushi, and it is evident from the plating to the cutting of the sashimi as well as the overall balance of flavors in each of his dishes. He happens to also exhibit a sense of humility about himself which is really refreshing. Kind of like his food.
The classic California maki rolls were sumptuous and delicious. Very well made with a lot of finesse and looking extremely pretty, it has bountiful levels of flavors and textures that are sure to delight your palate.
Something that was unusual that caught my eye was this buttery and smooth cod liver dish that really made my day. It tasted like french pate and was just a joy to let the whole piece melt in your mouth.
The grilled eel was just about right too. Perfectly grilled with the right amount of smokiness, the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce was neither too overpowering nor too mild. And again, it was beautifully plated and had you at hello.
|Assortment of Sashimi|
Next up was the fish plate, and it was just amazing. Everything tasted like how I had when I was in Hokkaido. The fat salmon belly was succulent, plump and incredibly fresh, and was not too oily either.
The fatty otoro blue fin tuna was the premium sashimi here and it was delicious. Melting in the mouth, it was not too irony as well, and had a beautiful and delicate texture that left me craving for me.
My personal favorite was the sweet shrimp, something that I had plenty in Hokkaido and here in Itacho, it was just as fresh and sweet as it was there. The freshness in all their sashimi cannot be doubted.
|Japanese Clams in Butter Wine|
But the one dish that took my breath away was this almost European like dish. The clams themselves looked incredible and plump, and cooked in a butter wine sauce that reminded me immediately of classic Italian vongole, the sauce was just heavenly.
A perfect amalgamation of acidity and buttery flavors, the clams added that tinge of sweetness that brought everything together. Absolutely delicious and hands down, beats the pants out of a lot of other French and Italian wine clam plates in more expensive establishments.
All in all, I was really surprised at how good the food was at Itacho. It was not just the quality and freshness of the fish that impressed me, but also the cooking and the presentation of some of their other non fish offerings.
I understand Itacho hails from Hong Kong and as a sushi eatery, for the quality it already trumps a lot of its peers. What is surprising is that for its rather affordable pricing, it also puts to shame a lot of more expensive sushi joints around town.
Various Outlets in Singapore