Even though sushi is now flash frozen and shipped from everywhere in the world, great sushi chefs still put an emphasis on what is fresh, with seasonal delicacies especially prized. My favorite sushi restaurant is 15 East, and on a visit several months ago, chef Masato Shimizu put together a wonderful Spring menu.
Besides being green in color I didn't notice anything particularly interesting.
The octopus was tender as always, while the conch and firefly squid were items I hadn't had before and full of umami.
Everything was delicious, but the side cup of liver cooked with ponzu and sake was especially unique and flavorful.
The house-made soba was a unique seasonal preparation, with sakura (cherry blossom) actually ground into the flour for the noodles. It gave the noodles a slightly softer texture.
Accompanying the soba was this huge shrimp tempura. The batter was a little thicker than regular tempura batter, making it in between tempura and katsu in texture. The batter was also seasoned, giving the whole thing great flavor.
After the cooked foods, the procession of sushi begins. Most if not all of the pieces were pieces I've had before and in the regular rotation. More detailed descriptions can be found by searching for my previous 15 East entries.
After all that sushi comes dessert, another area which 15 East excels at because of their connection with Tocqueville. The pastry chef has experience from Jean Georges, so is adept at using Western techniques with Eastern ingredients.
A refreshing and light spring dessert
These meals were great tributes to Spring, but Summer is officially here and I'm looking forward to some great summer meals as well.