Name: Sushi Cho
Genre: Japanese, Sushi
Price Range: 36,000 – 210,000 KRW
Our Menu: 2 Courses at the Dai
Total: 355,000 ish KRW
Memorable Item(s): The meal?
S: Two words, Ethereal sushi. That’s how this place had been described on the blogosphere. D and I experienced the dining room at Sushi Cho and thought it was quite excellent. So how much better was sitting at the chef’s table aka Dai? Well, we decided to find out for my birthday dinner! From the menu, I opted for a course which consisted of mainly sashimi and sushi while D chose a course which included handmade soba noodles.
D: Wait. Ethereal sushi? Are you kidding me?
S: Hey, if you get to have a mid-entry weird crisis, I get to have a little fun in the beginning. Hmph. As I was saying, our meal started with chawanmushi. Usually D does not like this dish. However, I remember her liking this version as it was simple and did not contain gingko nuts. The egg custard was seasoned with superb bonito broth and contained shrimp and crab meat with a touch of yuzu zest on top. The soothing egg custard was a thoughtful way to prepare our stomachs for what was to come next. wouldn’t you agree D?
D: I do agree, but it may be because there was entertainment to distract us. Our chef, Lee Jin Wook is very thoughtful, skilled and entertaining. He told us that he goes to Japan often to purchase ingredients, and also to take training courses. He also was telling us about his upcoming trip to the States as his brother lives there. See, I remember interpersonal details, but for some reason, my memory of taste is dangerously temporary. Because- I can’t even remember seeing, much less taking a photograph, of the following … um…
S: Suzuki Arai.
D: Are you kidding? How do you remember that? And what the hell does it mean?
S: I guess I have a good memory when it comes to food… Arai refers to the technique of dipping raw fish in ice cold water to make the fish firmer. Your dish used suzuki(농어), a very expensive sea bass.
D: Did our sushi chef tell you that, or did you just know? I can’t seem to remember this information.
S: … Sweetie, why don’t you sit this entry out.
D: ?! HMPH! (pause) Wait, does that mean… I have to wear the dunce cap again?
S: (Ignoring D) I started off with a course of assorted sashimi. It included hirame (fluke) and sashimi from different sections of the bluefin tuna. From the left, toro, chu toro, akami. It decreased in fattiness from left to right. I don’t have much to say other than DELICIOUS!
S: After my sashimi course came the sushi. We started off with Tai (snapper), with lightly torched skin. The rice perfectly seasoned and was firm enough for me to hold but fell apart perfectly once it hit my tongue.
S: Then came the hirame (fluke). This is the fish that made me see how good sushi could be. It was firm yet buttery which made it a perfect complement to the vinegary rice. On to the next piece!
S: This was one of the most memorable dishes of our entire meal. Toro + Uni = how could it be bad? The Hokkaido uni, the toro and the rice just melted away. The little bowl of rice disappeared too fast for our liking. We actually returned to Sushi Cho at the end of July and we made sure to ask for this dish again.
S: Grilled fish intermission…
S: Most would consider the next few pieces as the highlight of a sushi experience. The akami was quite exceptional. Even though it lacked the fattiness of the other parts, it still just melted away in my mouth.
S: The toro… need I say more? I think the picture tells you more than enough. I am pretty sure I had 5 or so more pieces of sushi but the photos were taken from D’s plate setting. However, I am sure you can imagine what the other pieces looked like as well.
S: If people asked me to choose between unagi (freshwater eel) and anago (saltwater eel), I would probably choose the latter. I love the spongy, light texture of the anago. It’s not as oily as unagi and it has a much more delicate flavor. Sadly, although it is delicious, the anago usually signals the end of a sushi experience. In our meal, it was followed by gyoko or a piece of sweetened egg. For D, a small basket of handmade soba followed.
S: Of course I stole a lot of her soba since I am a noodle monster. It was very well done. The noodles still carried a strong aroma of the buckwheat which was appreciated with every bite.
S: Monaka from the Monaka master! A monaka is a delicate, crisp pastry shell filled usually with red bean paste. In this case, it also contained green tea ice cream. The chef actually commented that he doesn’t like the monaka because his sushi sometimes gets overshadowed by the tasty treat. Of course we assured him that it wouldn’t.
S: For D, a refreshing ending of a citron sorbet.
D: Yep, and indeed it was refreshing (runs away).
S: Hey! I told you to sit this one out. Hey! Come back here.