In Review

Aged sushi: try a unique Japanese delicacy in London

Fresh fish is not necessarily the best, according to a master sushi-maker

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Aged sushi may sound like an innovation too far, but British diners will have the opportunity to explore this rediscovered art at a unique event bringing together the masters of three Japanese cuisines.

Kouji Kimura is the man responsible, and for one week only from 29 October he’ll be in residence at Yashin Ocean House in South Kensington. His two Michelin stars may offer some comfort to Londoners sceptical about eating uncooked fish that’s up to 60 days old.

Further reassurance comes from The Wall Street Journal. “Time is a friend to raw fish, giving it a richer texture and flavour,” it advises. “Sushi prepared in this manner is more authentic, and its roots go back hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

Kimura’s first experiments in fish-aging were not, however, an unqualified success. “It was delicious,” says the Luxeat food blog, but “it did stink a lot”. Over time, he learnt how to control the moisture levels within the fish “to bring out umami” without the offputting side-effects.

His flying visit to the UK is the result of a collaboration between Luxeat and All Nippon Airways, which is sponsoring the event as past of its “We Are Japan” programme, intended to foster a deeper understanding of the country and its culture.

Kimura will be joined by Kentaro Nakahara, “the chef many credit with cooking some of Tokyo’s very best wagyu”, says Eater.com.

Though less of a leap than decomposing fish, his signature dish is in some ways just as surprising: he takes the ultrahigh-quality beef and sandwiches it between two slices of bread. The resulting “wagyu katsu sando - as it’s called in Japan - has been Instagram bait for at least the last four years”, says the website.

Completing the trio is Shuji Niitome, a master of tempura, whose ten-seat Tokyo restaurant, Niitome, has been named the best in the city. It came out on top of 4,645 rivals on Tabelog, the respected Japanese review website.

Their work will be accompanied by fine wine and sake selected by Raku Oda, Yashin Ocean House’s head sommelier.

ANA and Luxeat’s Culinary Journeys runs from 29 October to 2 November at Yashin Ocean House, London SW7. Tickets are available here for £375

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