Hiro described this meal as an end of summer, beginning of fall. As I have mentioned many times, seasonality is the key to a meal at Urasawa from the flower arrangements to the ingredients and the type of dishes served. The wood of the sushi bar is absolutely pristine and Hiro explained that it is sanded everyday.

I apologize in advance if I have messed up the Japanese terms for each fish – just consider that I do my best.

1. Sweet Shrimp, grated daikon radish, yuzu zest, shiso flower, yuzu skin, miso flower


2. Hamo fish (King Eel) that had been deep fried with a sweet and sour sauce served cold 


3. Water Eggplant (miso nasu) from Osaka. We were presented with a small towel to be used after eating the eggplant. Stupid me used it before, until Hiro explained that the eggplant was to be eaten with your hands and dipped skin side down into the sauce. It was extremely juicy and yes the towel was needed.


4. Tofu custard studded with baby shrimp and uni, topped with ikura (salmon eggs) and a dusting of gold leaf – there is no way to describe the difference between Hiro’s salmon eggs and those you get at other sushi bars. He marinates them himself and they literally pop in your mouth.

custard revealed



5. Sashimi served in Hiro’s signature ice-carved “sculpture” – Toro from Boston, Kanpachi (yellowtail) from Toyama Prefecture, and Tai (red snapper) from Kyushuu, freshly grated wasabi, shiso flower


6. Dobin mushi – In Japan, dobin mushi is usually served as a medicinal soup made with Matsutake mushrooms – dobin means teapot and mushi means steamed. Included in the dobin mushi were shrimp, uni, red snapper, matsutake mushroom, and gingko nut.


7. Deep fried abalone (awabi) from Northern California. Hiro explained that he boils the abalone in water with konbu for over 6 hours. This is the “trick” to making abalone tender. It was served with a touch of lime.


Hiro had a full sushi bar. To make it even more difficult, we were all on different courses. As most of you know, I ask endless questions; not once did Hiro become impatient. He answered all my dumb questions with a gracious wide smile.


8. Shabu-shabu of shrimp, hamo, saga beef, foie gras, and seaweed – Yoshi did the cooking for us – the shrimp took only a second with the foie taking the longest. We were given a soup spoon after the foie had been consumed and then had the broth as a soup course.


The beautiful Yoshi – Hiro’s sister


An orgy of the Saga beef

9. Grilled Saga Kobe Beef from Southern Japan – A5, Grade 8


When I asked Hiro about the grade, his comment was: “Good people make good beef.” My comment to him was the same thing could be said about everything – good people make good food, good people make good friends – you get the idea.

Now sushi. Hiro is now using 180 grains of rice per sushi piece. I did say that one of these days, I am going to count them. (As a side note, you can see, we were having a lot of fun.)

10. Toro


11. Grilled toro


12. Kanpachi


13. Wild Hawaiian Red Snapper


14. Spanish mackerel from the southern Japan


15. Maguro from Boston


16. Ika (squid)


17. Grilled Shitake mushroom


18. Skipjack


19. East Coast Giant Clam


20, Uni ( a long discussion followed about how FL is now sourcing their uni from Hokkaido thanks to Hiro)


21. Sweet shrimp


Hiro’s brother-in-law  preparing the live shrimp


22. Abalone


23. Pike mackerel formed into a sort of deconstructed roll with rice and sansho leaf “cooked” with hot metal rods.

24. Toro roll


24. Kobe beef


25. Tamago


26. Asian pear gelee, umeboshi sauce and goji berries


27. Black sesame ice cream with red bean


28. Green Tea


BYO Wines – My husband’s comments

’95 Billecart Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth- smooth, sharp flavor and superb finish.

’97 Corton Charlemagne, Delarche–one of my favorite Cortons.  Clean, straightforward superb chardonnay.  Great finish.
’90 Gevery Chambertin Lavaux St. Jacques, Rene Leclerc.  Superb.  Great example of how red burgundy goes with great Japanese food.  Hiro paired with meat and other strong dishes.  Solid, well aged plenty of fruit, well rounded and that great velvet burgundy finish.
Urasawa is just a superb restaurant and Hiro is a wonderful chef and person.


7 Responses to “Urasawa”

  1. 1 Aaron October 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Hmm, that meal looks awfully familiar 😉
    What a wonderful, wonderful evening!

  2. 2 lizziee October 4, 2008 at 8:23 am

    It sure was!

  3. 3 Trine October 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I love your reviews and your sense of humour, Lizziee. Thanks for sharing!


  4. 4 Trine October 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    PS. Incredible Burgundies you guys drink.

  5. 5 lizziee October 6, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks Trine. I love Burgundy and so does Hiro!

  6. 6 ajgnet October 8, 2008 at 8:01 am

    What a special meal this was … glad to have ejoyed it with you ! All the best, and I hope we can share another meal at some point in the future. Best, Adam.

  7. 7 Ryan October 22, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    I had the pleasure of enjoying Urasawa a few days after you. Looking at your pictures many of our courses are the same, but just looking at your pictures of the few that are different makes me want to go back right now.

    You seem to know a lot about your wines. I only recently heard about pairing Burgundy with Japanese food, glad your experience with that was so positive.

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