HYPER JAPAN 2013 saw the third outing of the Sushi Award’s Sushi Roll Championship, which saw five UK based Japanese restaurants battling out to see whose unique sushi creation would be the people’s favourite.
This year’s proud winner was Eat Tokyo Group Head Chef Yoshiro Motohashi, with his sublimely delicious Tokyo Special Roll.
The Eat Tokyo Group has five branches across London, and a reputation as one of the city’s most formidable Japanese chains. Drawing on over 40 years’ experience in the catering trade in Tokyo, the Group offers a wide range of authentic Japanese dishes including freshly prepared sushi, bento boxes, and an izakaya menu. What’s more, the Group is committed to doing it all at prices that defy the stereotype that quality Japanese food has to hit the pocket hard.
The group’s appreciation of what the UK public will admire in Japanese food is really evident in the sumptuous Tokyo Special. This bold and colourful roll was inspired by dynamic and cosmopolitan Tokyo. Eel, prawn and avocado are layered in perfectly cooked Yutaka Premium Sushi Rice then double-wrapped in seared salmon and yellowtail. The roll is then lightly flamed before being smothered in tobiko, wasabi tobiko, and S&B Wasabi Sauce. A tsume glaze made with Kikkoman Soy Sauce provides sweetness and a rich umami punch. The soft salmon melts into creamy avocado, while the prawn and eel give the roll bite, followed by a whisper of wasabi. A truly indulgent mouthful of Tokyo.
Tokyo Special – Sushi Roll of the Year
Group Head Chef of Eat TokyoK
This bold and colourful roll was inspired by dynamic and cosmopolitan Tokyo. Eel, prawn and avocado are layered in Yutaka Premium Sushi Rice then double-wrapped in seared salmon and yellowtail. The roll is then lightly flamed before being smothered in tobiko, wasabi tobiko, and S&B Wasabi Sauce. A tsume glaze made with KIKKOMAN Soy Sauce provides sweetness and a rich umami punch. The soft salmon melts into creamy avocado, while the prawn and eel give the roll bite, followed by a whisper of wasabi. A truly indulgent mouthful of Tokyo.
After two decades building up vast experience as a professional chef in Japan, Chef Motohashi came to the UK where he worked in a number of Head Chef roles in leading Japanese restaurants. Now, as Group Head Chef of the Eat Tokyo Group, he has overall responsibility for menu development. Chef Motohashi finds his inspiration in creating for the customer the sense of pleasure felt when food is served and the sensuous pleasure of eating. He aims to keep his food traditional while always remaining focused on customer satisfaction.
Wagyu Crispy Cube
Senior Sous Chef, Yashin Ocean House
This playful sushi riffs on classic Japanese flavours and ingredients, combining them with a modern European approach to cooking to produce something recognisable yet with a distinct twist. A crispy cube of deep-fried sushi rice is topped with a dab of foie gras and a slice of Wagyu beef, which has been marinated with tomato and miso to enhance umami before cooking then quickly seared. The sushi is finished with red veined sorrel and a drizzle of soy-truffle sauce.
Head Sushi Chef, Chisou Knighstbridge
This vibrant inside-out roll brings classic Spanish flavours together with Japanese techniques to produce a new style of sushi reflecting the international make-up of the Chisou kitchen. Soft and spicy Iberico pork chorizo, cooked with mirin and sake, is combined with crisp cucumber slivers and creamy aioli sauce then enfolded in nori seaweed and fluffy sushi rice. The roll is topped with butterflied prawn, more aioli sauce, and a scattering of brilliant green chives.
Head Chef, Feng Sushi Borough Market
An inside-out roll filled with a luscious tartare of tender octopus (prepared with a nod to Bulgarian cooking), roasted Romano pepper, teriyaki sauce, and piquant kimchee sauce, combined to create a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy. The roll is topped with a slice of fresh cucumber for crunch, dabbed with more tartare filling, and scattered with delicate yuzu tobiko which burst in the mouth. Smother in the Osaka-style accompaniment of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce on the side.
Fresh Summer Gunkan
Jaturavit ‘Son’ Saysensa
Head Sushi Chef, Chino Latino Nottingham
A Thai-inspired gunkan sushi packed with mouthwateringly fresh tastes and textures of summer. A trio of diced fish—tuna, salmon, and yellowtail—is marinated in a shallot and daikon vinaigrette to enhance flavour and impart succulent texture. The sushi rice is wrapped in a paper-thin courgette slice, carefully tied with a delicate leek strip, then topped with the fish trio, a wedge of creamy avocado, tobiko for texture, and green shiso leaf to garnish.