Sushi Kimura, which opened in December 2016, offers a storied trip across Japan through chef Tomoo Kimura’s omotenashi (Japanese hospitality). The meals here begin light, but are big in texture, with an appetiser bowl of Kyoto yuba (beancurd skin), plum jelly, ikura, uni and freshly grated wasabi root. The temperatures then get raised, comfortably, with a silky chawanmushi made with mineral water from Hokkaido – water Kimura prizes for its “softness”, he tells us.
The chef takes pride in the sourcing of his ingredients – it’s in the way he explains their origins. “The tomato is grown below Mount Fuji and water is cut off so the tomato survives by retaining more sugars. The farmers have to check (on the crop) every six hours,” he explains, after plating our oblong platter of sashimi. For his sushi rice, the chef mixes the grains with aged vinegar exclusively sourced from a brewery in Kyoto. This vinegared rice is also presented at the end of the meal, topped with sweet uni, ikura and fresh organic egg.
While Kimura is the frontman at this 12-seat counter, his team makes its presence known in timely ways: the service staff brought out the Dewazakura Dewanosato sake in striking gold cups almost seconds after he recommended it as a three-time-champion he procured exclusively. The quiet prowess of his supporting kitchen cast of three is also shown, particularly in the tamago (Japanese omelette) done two ways – Tokyo and Kyoto styles.
In case the efforts taken aren’t evident, the last course is the ultimate show of dedication to the craft: Monaka rice wafers toasted over binchotan charcoal, turned at regular short intervals from the beginning of our meal, eventually served with toasted brown rice tea pudding. It’s like we went full circle to the beginning with this final dish, sated with quality food and knowledge.
#01-07, Palais Renaissance, S(238871)