THIS COMICALLY, IF AUTHENTICALLY, DIMINUTIVE JAPANESE RESTAURANT in the West End may have lost a little of its charm when a recent makeover deprived it of the haphazard furnishings it had when it opened. But no matter. In the new order of things, the bar has somehow grown to four seats (from three) — and the stools now match. Settle for one of the four tables if you must, but the bar is the place to be. You’ll want a clear view of Osaka-reared itamae Satoshi Makise’s knifework. His omakase is the way to go. Whereas many a local sushi chef favours local fish and seafood over imported, Makise opts for imports from Toyosu Market in Tokyo. Once here, that Japanese fish gets aged, cured and dried just as edomae custom demands. And the results, draped over Makise’s expertly seasoned shari, are nothing short of exquisite. Dry-cured bluefin, cut against its grain, then half-perforated with lengthwise striations, has perfect texture and is delightfully rich in umami. If you’re lucky, you’ll pass through at the right season for blackthroat seaperch, or marbled sole, its surface grooved and brushed with soy, and Hokkaido uni dabbed with a dot of wasabi, or some madai dabbed with the paste of fermented green chili. Makise also likes to veer offroad from strict convention, adding some foie gras to the mix, or a very gentle application of aburi.
Beautifully crafted sushi.”
Photography by: Leila Kwok