Many people who follow my restaurant experiences have read my rhapsodies about Hashimoto being my favourite Japanese experience in Canada, perhaps one of 3 best I have experienced in North America. I have eaten at Kaji many times, but I have never had an experience such as this one, no matter how I have tried to work with the staff at this restaurant. But, chef David Lee knows the chef owner well and advised him about what was expected and oh my, what a wonderful result. I will not comment on every dish, but, I must say that the quality and freshness of the fish was exceptional.
We began with vinegared lobster with shimeji mushrooms and dashi in a persimmon.
Marinated ocean trout.
Salted, roasted ginko nuts.
Sazae, a shellfish from Japan, chopped with chopped shiitake mushroom and mitsubari.
Yagara (red cornet fish) from Japan with plum sauce.
A platter of sea bream, Japanese amberjack, lobster, snow crab, New Zealand octopus, calamari and mackerel from Japan.
Japanese aji (Japanese mackerel jack) with myoga (Japanese ginger with an onion like flavour).
Sea bream skin with scallion. I loved the flavours and textures of this dish.
Hirame (flounder) sashimi served with house made ponzu sauce.
Pine mushroom soup with lime, chicken and smoky dashi broth.
Tempura string bean, shrimp, burdock and yam. The tasty morsels were sprinkled with salt. The fresh tempura batter was crispy and not greasy at all. An exceptional rendition.
Snow crab stuffed with chestnut, shishito pepper and crab meat.
Snow crab sushi.
Red clam (akagai) sushi.
Truly fresh sea urchin and salmon roe. I loved this combination of textures and rich flavours.
Lobster miso soup.
Sea fluke sushi with shiso.
Sea eel (anago) had great flavour.
Scallop with green peppercorn sauce and toro with sesame, garlic and ginger puree, was accompanied by freshly grated wasabi.
Mitsu with adzuki bean, pear agar agar and strawberry, accompanied by a shortbread cookie. A refreshing ending.
Edible flowers made of daikon, cucumber, carrot attached to scallion "stems".