This is Jay Oh, the young and driven sushi chef/artisan at Sushi Huku. The last few months I’ve been on a personal mission to learn a lot about sushi, and Gene Lee has been kind enough to assist in my education by taking me to Jay-San’s excellent restaurant. Prior to our first visit I read Gene’s fantastic post on Huku and his relationship with his itamae and was intrigued. It sounded much like the experience I had at MF Buckhead in the omakase room, a surreal sushi experience. Not just because the fish was amazing, but I enjoyed the personal interaction and education with Chef Kinjo.
With each of my three visits to Huku I’ve tried plenty of interesting and new items, but more importantly, have learned to enjoy the pacing and the process of the meal. And I’ve discovered that sitting at the bar is definitely the only way I want to visit anymore. How else are you going to provide feedback and discover the excellent items you should be ordering? There are also many items that need to be eaten quickly. Nigiri should almost be eaten a piece at a time. If ordering a platter of ten pieces to be delivered to the table, by the time the last one is prepared the first piece has suffered. The most excellent temperature and texture has been lost.
We started this meal with one of the craziest taste and textures experiences I can recall – ika kimo, squid liver. A type of shiokara, the warm, gooey liver was one of the more pungent things I’ve eaten, the thick aroma infiltrating the full length of my airways, hanging heavy in my chest. It awakened my taste buds for the meal to come.
Another starter – miso soup with clams. I can’t say I’ve a discerning palate for miso broth yet, but the tiny clams were great.
We shared an assortment of sashimi, which I’ve noticed is always served before rice/nigiri. I don’t know the reason behind this, but perhaps it’s to allow one to taste the unadulterated fish before the addition of the vinegar laced rice for which sushi is named. This plate had a couple of pieces of uni maki (roll) and raw shrimp, more unique and interesting items I’m developing a taste for. It also had what I believe was herring roe. Unlike large salmon roe, these tiny eggs (front left of the plate) are cohesive and can be eaten like pieces of fish.
The shrimp head pictured above was fried and eaten whole.
Salmon roe (ikura) in the “battleship” (Gunkan-maki) preparation. Some also call this the “worship” preparation. These need to be eaten quickly before the seaweed becomes chewy.
I can’t recall what this nigiri was, but Gene thinks it may have been suzuki (striped bass). Yeah, I need to take better notes. Or drink less. (Notes it is!)
Jey-San left a long tail on the belly end of the fish, then finished that side with a touch of his torch. Multiple textures and temperatures on one piece of nigiri. Fantastic.
Eggplant and yuzu.
Fried fish bones, eaten like chips.
Tamago – omelet nigiri. Sweet and delicate, these were excellent and worth ordering at Huku if you’ve never had it, or maybe had it somewhere that prepared a poor version.
It’s tough to make this picture out, but there is shredded daikon, seared salmon, and monkfish liver (ankimo), which is known by many as the foie gras of the sea. It’s unctuous and rich, with a similar texture to liver, but creamier and with a very clean taste for offal.
I hope more people will go visit Sushi Huku and build their own rapport with Jay-San. While not inexpensive, I’ve found the prices to be the most reasonable of the upper echelon sushi restaurants in Atlanta, to which Huku belongs.