Dinner at Hatou (波濤)
- Photo Views
- Meal Views
I doubt there are many people, left alone foreigners, who have been to this restaurant 10 times or more. So, now that I have, I’ll stick my head out.
This place serves one of the best otsumami one can get in Tokyo and by extension in the world. Yes, I believe that his overshadow the likes from legends such as Sugita-san and Sawada-san. The only place which in my book is on par is Saito-san. Here I said it! It most likely is going to burn me, but I cannot help.
He served five servings to start you off. The first dish was a cooked radish with spring vegetables in a pure vegetable dashi. How he can produce so much umami from only vegetables remains his secret. This was followed by Tachiuo (タチウオ / Beltfish), fried tempura style with a taranome (young buds of the angelica tree) served with salt into which he mixed white kombu powder. All of this delight was topped by a dish of Komochi yari-ika (子持ちの槍烏賊), a pregnant spear squid filled with its own eggs. Succulent, rich in taste and texture, a masterpiece. Second to last, a vegetable nigiri, strongly seasoned rice topped with Shungiku (leaves or dark greens from the glebionis coronaria plant, commonly known as “garland chrysanthemum” or “chop suey greens”). A bunch of strong flavors. To bridge into the nigiri part of the meal he served a Hamaguri (蛤 / Common Hard Clam) soup, very restrained, milky and very subtle to let the palate recover from the strong flavors before. What a sequence and composition!
His nigiris continue to improve and are now on a top level, the rice is seasoned with restraint, an emphasis on the acidity with very little or no sugar in the shari. It is cooked beyond al dente but still grainy, creating a nice texture on the palate. The 12 nigiri and 2 maki only contained, thankfully, 3 tuna netas. All of them are carefully sourced and seasoned to perfection to release the maximum umami. The neta star of the evening was the sakura masu (Cherry salmon) , a type of sea trout caught in Aomori prefecture.
This young men, is still in his very early 30ies, he opened his place barely two years ago, but is already a master of his craft. It is becoming hard to book and will most likely become impossible. Try to get one seat in this beautiful sushiya and enjoy your food while admiring the 8 meter long counter from Africa.