Dinner at ザ サカイ tha sakai
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Chef Tsuyoshi Sakai worked in Italy and in Spain in the Basque Country where he worked for one year in the Mekka of wood fire cooking, Extebarri.
On return to Japan he worked in Kobe but now set up his shop in Kyoto for a little more than one year.
His cooking style is heavily influenced by his Spanish experience as he uses exclusively a grill to prepare his dishes. The wood is oak from Wakayama which he prepares in a big strove. From there he moves the appropriate amount of charcoal to the grill for the preparation.
Even though the sequencing and flavor give you a familiar feeling, the ingredients are obviously Japanese and therefore change the whole meal to become an unique offering.
As it was truffle season there were quite a few truffle dishes. Interestingly the black Perigord truffle was much more fragrant then the white truffle. Some really outstanding dishes, like the sakura ebi risotto, the bluefin tuna and the hand cut squid tagliatelle with squid strips topping. The star of the evening however was the duck which was succulent with incredible layers of flavoring. Simply stunning.
A great place with only 5 seats and a very intimate atmosphere.