Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Gaku Sushi Izakaya Oahu, Hawaii Part 2 of 3 - Best Traditional Japanese sushi in Honolulu

Part 2 of 3!
We had so many pics (and food) we had to split the post up into 3 parts :P Part 1 here! So after a tasty start to Chef Nobu's omasake menu, we sat back while they started prepping dishes for other patrons, and watched as Gaku's magic happening behind the counter.

Chef Hideki recognised us from our last visit 2 years ago and gave us a great big smile before making something at his station...

Fire! :D Mmm.. I wonder what's he' making...

Its a flambe'ed steak glazed with a light teriyaki glaze, topped with caramelized Maui onions, and a side of pan seared potatoes and veges. Cooked to a tender rare to medium-rare, the slight bit of flavorful crust worked well with the slightly sweet teriyaki glaze. Loved the pan seared potato - it had a bit of a crispy exterior with a savory fluffy interior. We didn't use the horseradish mustard provided - our preference, but nice to have it for the folks that like a bit more zing with their steak.

We didn't catch the name of this fellow, as he was the one whizzing around in the back making tempura most of the night

And he presented us with one of his creations: light crispy tempura'ed chili peppers, zucchini, and in house made deep fried fish balls. Mmmmm!

Now Chef Nobu didn't forget about us! He started creating something here... didn't have a picture with him in it where he wasn't a blur of motion!

And it was the seared chutoro with garlic! Toro comes in various grades with O-toro at the top and chutoro coming in at second. We found the chutoro less rich and buttery compared to O-toro, but in this dish, the chutoro worked well with just a hint of garlic infused oil and mellow flecks of garlic, as the sheer amount of fattiness inherent in O-toro would have overwhelmed the delicate garlic flavor in this dish.  The seared garlic chutoro slices were placed ontop of a bed of slivered sweet Maui onions and baby greens that soaked up the tasty oil. Rich with a hint of garlicy yumminess!

Here's Chef Nobu making sushi nigiri maybe?

Yeeeah! We each got a plate of sushi nigiri! hahaha.. no need to share these tasty bites!

The first one was a buttery rich tender O-toro sushi nigiri on top of perfectly seasoned sushi rice. The slight tanginess of the rice brought out the subtle sweetness of each delectable bite. Nom!!!

Next up was the seared Ehu - mellowed with a hint of smokey aroma from the charcoal used to lightly sear it, the bit of acidity from the grated diakon marinated in ponzo sauce tied things together...yummy!

The star of the night - a blow torch kissed O-toro nigiri topped with some finely slivered green onions. The blowtorch adds a bit of carmelized flash searing, with some of the aromatic natural oils saturating the seasoned rice... this just melts in your mouth.  There was a look of sheer bliss on my boyfriend's face as he bit into his seared O toro.

Fresh, creamy, earthy rich with a hint of the sea, this uni (sea urchin roe) atop of a bit of seasoned sushi rice and wrapped in crisp roasted nori was an indulgence in a bite.

Finishing with a fish roe (sorry forgot to ask for name) topped nigiri - this was uber fresh - popping with an intense burst of sweetness, a hint of salty and a trace of smokiness to finish. Mmmm!

Normally, the pics and food would stop here... but since we had some room left, we asked Chef Nobu to come up with a few more items.. showcased in part 3! :D

Gaku Sushi Izakaya

Address 1329 S King St Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone (808) 589-1329
Hours varies, call to find out and make reservations ahead of time
Gaku Sushi Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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