Monday, April 04, 2005

Yohei Sushi

I <3 (heart; love; not a double scoop of ice cream) sushi. My friend's girl-friend was here in town and loves sushi so we decided to go to one of my top five favorite sushi places on the island. I have been going to Yohei Sushi for over 10 years now. My uncle used to take my sister and I there and I have been going there ever since.

Typically when I make reservations I get seated in front of Ryuji. Here is a picture of him working hard along with Kazuto on the right of him.

We started off our night with some locally caught Mebachi Maguro (目撥鮪; BigEye Tuna). The pieces we were served were chu-toro. Looks can be deceiving, although the pieces doesn't look that fatty they were quite creamy and rich. Nothing compared to oo-toro of course but it was good.

Also from the same Mebachi Maguro, we were served with some of the meat skewered and grilled. I think it was the kama (鎌; Collar) meat.

Next up was Tai (鯛; Snapper) and Shabu (しゃぶ; Parboiled Tuna collar; a Yohei specialty). Both were served with ponzu (ポン酢; Citrus-soy based sauce), negi (葱; Green Onion) and Momiji Oroshi (紅葉下ろし; Grated Radish with crushed Red Pepper).

Next we had Hamachi Zuke (鰤ヅケ; Yellowtail marinated in Shoyu).

In between making us our next sushi we got to munch on some hone senbei (骨せんべい; Fried fish bone – called senbei to refer to its crunchy “senbei” like characteristics). This is really good and I recommend you to try it at least once. Goes great with beer.

Next up was the true Yohei Shabu (しゃぶ; Parboiled Tuna collar; a Yohei specialty). This one was served with their miso-mayo sauce and negi (葱; Green Onion). This is how they usually serve it. This is probably one of my favorite things to order at Yohei. It is just so...OMG when you eat it.

The following picture came out really junk but it is of Ama Ebi with Shiso, Uni and Ikura (甘海老と紫蘇と海胆とイクラ; Sweet Shrimp with Perilla Leaf, Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe). The sweet of the shrimp mixed with the rich and sweet of the uni, salty and creamy of the ikura is just awesome. They also brought out the obligatory deep fried shrimp heads. My friend didn’t want his so I got to have two. :o)

Next on our plate was Sawara Aburi (鰆炙り; Seared/Broiled Spanish Mackerel). I learned that the Hawaiian name for Sawara is Ono.

We then had another Aburi, Toro Aburi (トロ炙り; Seared/Broiled Fatty Tuna). If you ever go to a sushi bar that has anything prepared Aburi style, order it. It really brings out the richness of the fatty fishes. My lucky friend got an extra piece stacked on his nigiri.

Saba Battera (鯖; Box Pressed Mackerel Sushi) was next up. Battera is where the sushi rice is placed in a wooden box and is then pressed down with the Saba on top. I prefer fresh Saba Nigiri but this was still good.

This next one caught me by surprise. Up to now I have tried everything that we were served. Ryuji made us Ika with Mentaiko and Uzura Yolk (墨魚と明太子と鶉卵黄; Squid with Spicy Cod Roe and Quail Egg Yolk). I really don’t care for Ika. It’s not that I can’t stand it, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I can eat it but I never crave it. But this was good. The Uzura Yolk made it really rich. The Mentaiko added a lot of flavor and there was a lingering after taste that was really complex. I have to order this again.

The next one we had I liked and I didn’t. We had Engawa and Hamachi Tataki (縁側と鰤の叩き; Minced Halibut Skirt and Yellowtail). I liked it because it was very good especially with the Negi (葱; Green Onion) and Shiso (紫蘇; Perilla Leaf) but I didn’t like it because I found out that they used the last of the Engawa to make it. You see, I love Engawa and it is probably my number 1 neta (ねた; Sushi topping). I found this out when I tried to order it later in the night.

The next one we had I call Ryuji’s Sake (鮭; Salmon) Nigiri. He uses the Harami (腹身; Belly meat) of the salmon and then adds Goma (胡麻; Sesame Seed), Ikura (イクラ; Salmon Roe), Kaiwari (貝割; Radish sprout), Katsuobushi (鰹節; Dried Bonito Flakes), Shiso (紫蘇; Perilla Leaf), Yamaimo (山芋; Mountain Yam) and a thin pickled thing that I can’t think of the name at this moment. It’s a refreshing change from always eating just plain Sake.

Our second to last order was Sayori (針魚; Halfbeak). Sayori is a really light and refreshing fish. When I order this at Yohei they always give me the skin wrapped around a skewer which is then grilled.

Lastly we had Ikura (イクラ; Salmon Roe) and Uni (海胆; Sea Urchin). Before I really didn’t care for Ikura or Uni but now I love them both. If you don’t care for either/or you might want to try it at a place that has quality fresh Ikura and/or Uni. The taste disparity between cheap Ikura/Uni and good quality Ikura/Uni is huge.

Everything we had was delicious. Yohei Sushi always has a good selection of fresh fish and ingredients. Service is good and Ryuji and Kazuto always make me feel welcome. I highly recommend this place.


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