Authors: Monty and Tad
Chef: Sotohiro Kosugi
Date: December 8, 2012
“Soto is like a kaiseki love-letter to uni. You must love sea urchin to eat here. Those who merely like sea urchin may find an overabundance of sweet, nutty richness. Those who don’t even like sea urchin should probably curse their parents for not giving them the correct genes or for an insufficiently worldly upbringing.”
“A Japanese business associate of my father once told me that the Kaiseki meal is very infrequently eaten by Japanese people. It is the equivalent of a high-end Western tasting menu, but with more ceremony, tradition, and attention to aesthetic elements. But I eat tasting menus all the time, so I am sure there are some people in Japan that eat Kaiseki meals pretty regularly.”
Monte: I love Japanese food. Soto only confirms how real our amour is.
Restaurant: 12 Chairs
Exec Chef: David Laris
Date: January 2, 2013
I was in Shanghai for a few days to celebrate New Year’s Eve with some friends (drinking, partying, massages, and really and really good food = yay!), and I figured that I’d try a fine dining restaurant in Shanghai while I was here. The two fine dining restaurants I really wanted to try in Shanghai were 12 Chairs and Ultraviolet. I’ll try out Ultraviolet on my next trip to Shanghai!
The entire restaurant is one table with 12 chairs; it’s supposed to be an intimate dining experience where you get to know your fellow diners over the course of the meal.
Conceptually, the food is interesting, and the chef mixes together different flavors that should work. In execution, however, the dishes were kind of mediocre. The meal kind of made me appreciate how so many restaurants in NYC have great execution/cooking.
March 13, 2013 Note: This restaurant is now known as Sushi Shikon.
Restaurant: Sushi Yoshitake
Exec Chef: Masahiro Yoshitake
Sous Chef (and our sushi chef): Yoshiharu Kakinuma
Date: January 7, 2013
Sushi Yoshitake in Tokyo is really popular among sushi enthusiasts, and it recently received its third Michelin star in the 2012 Guide. Chef Yoshitake decided to open a second restaurant and chose Hong Kong as his destination, so I figured that I’d try it while here on my break! There are a total of eight seats in this restaurant, which consists of one sushi bar. There are two sushi chefs, Chef Yoshitake and his apprentice Chef Kakinuma, and each serves up to four diners at a time.
Chef Kakinuma was our sushi chef, and Chef Yoshitake was at the other side of the bar. I should probably add that it was really helpful that Chef Kakinuma spoke fluent English.
Chef Yoshitake is preparing nigiri here. I realize it’s not the most flattering pic haha :(.