The Sushi Awards has been a highlight of the Eat-Japan @ HYPER JAPAN since its first appearance in 2010, as a showcase of the versatility and creativity of the sushi scene in the U.K. The 1400 visitors to the 2014 Sushi Awards, chose Seabed Shipwreck, the work of Wojciech Popow, Sushi Chef at Roka Charlotte Street, as the winner: The octopus slices, marinated until succulent in a blend of fresh green peppercorns, sanshopepper, lemongrass and sesame seeds, were wrapped with the rice in a shimmering jelly sheet, handmade by Chef Popow using yuzu juice, cider and vinegar. Find details in the Sushi of the Year Archive page. Details of the next event will be online very soon, so keep an eye on this page or Like us on Facebook so you can keep up with all the news as it happens.
Seabed Shipwreck – Sushi of the Year
Sushi Chef at Roka Charlotte Street
Seabed Shipwreck impressed in a number of ways. The strong concept, of an octopus curled up on the ocean bed, was expressed through innovative use of classic Japanese ingredients, including deep-fried seaweed fronds and dehydrated bonito flakes infused with soy. The octopus slices, marinated until succulent in a blend of fresh green peppercorns, sansho pepper, lemongrass and sesame seeds, were wrapped with the rice in a shimmering jelly sheet, handmade by Chef Popow using yuzu juice, cider and vinegar. The subtle and sophisticated combination of flavours and textures was complemented by its elegant presentation of delicate pinks dotted with earthy greens and browns.
Chef Popow, began his career as a bartender and mixologist. A first encounter with homemade sushi sparked his interest, and after studying as much as he could about sushi independently, Chef Popow decided to become a professional sushi chef. He enjoys working in open kitchens, where the contact with customers and sense of performance hark back to his work as a mixologist. Now Sushi Chef at RokaCharlotte Street, Chef Popow is constantly striving to create inspiring and memorable dishes.
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.