No. 45: Jun I
Junichi Ikematsu’s modern Japanese restaurant is a hybrid that reflects his own unusual culinary background
For in his native Kyoto he trained largely in the French culinary tradition—and the result here in this traditional looking restaurant is Japanese cookery that speaks with an occasional French, or at least European, accent. But the fusion is sophisticated and measured—and never allowed to stray where it should not. Only maki rolls get modern sauces (say, soycaramel on the Cajun-spiced softshell crab). Sushi and sashimi retain their traditional purity.
The fish is uniformly of very fine quality—sometimes flown in from Fukuoka market, on Kyushu, and other times from closer to home, as when the Bluefin tuna are running in the Gaspé.
Expect local quality uni, scallops and snow crab. With composed dishes chef plays a little more with disparate influences. Think tuna tartare spiked with truffle oil, or dashi broth laden with local whelks. Or more emphatically, tortellini filled with ginger-infused sweet potato are served with sweet shrimp and a drizzle of beurre blanc. The sake list is impressive, bolstered with private imports from Yamagata and Sendai.