Four cuts of seafood rest on rice. Snow white, cherry blossom pink, sunburst. The colour of the flesh deepens down the line. Wasabi’s alkaline smell mingles with a smoke-like perfume. Inside the steelgray private dining room, the air gets warmer with each breath. Like paint on canvas, nigiri on porcelain elicits a rising tide of emotions. Yuutaro’s sushi seems almost too perfect to eat.
Opened by the team behind Yuutaro in Thong Lo, this branch serves a similar menu to the flagship, but with a few cuts and additions, providing a slightly more universal appeal for Central Embassy’s varied clientele. Raw food stars. Sushi and sashimi — toro, engawa, uni, and hotate, a staggering ninety percent of the seafood selected from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. The chefs put forward a few daring touches, but by and large stick to the formula that works. Who could blame them? Premium ingredients never need exaggeration.
The menu is divided, pragmatically, into basic categories. While purists might prefer to order a la carte, the sushi and sashimi sets are a solid choice for amateurs and authorities alike. Yuba salad maki (B450 half/B800 full) throws a curveball at traditional sushi rolls, using tofu rather than seaweed as a wrapper. Stuffed with salmon, tuna, shrimp, and avocado, the soft texture is contrasted by lettuce and sweet, tangerine-tinted salmon roe that burst when bitten. Nothing about this dish is small — not the roe and not the maki, which have the girth of sliced marrow bones.
Modern choices adhere to the minimalist principles of Japanese food arrangement (we eat with our eyes first, after all). Aburi sushi set (B1500) presents five kinds of untraditional nigiri: four topped with lightly smoked fish and one with Wagyu. From first to last, the sushi builds in depth and complexity, starting with a fatty tuna and then moving up to flounder, Hokkaido scallop topped with smelt roe, king crab, and Wagyu. The Suki set (B650 half/ B1200 full) captures the flavours and textures of sukiyaki in a Wagyu-wrapped roll. Each maki, bursting with tofu, green onion, and bok choy, is first dipped in beaten raw egg yolk before being consumed. Strange, yes, but the legendary fire-and-fruit taste and butter-melt mouthfeel of the beef is enough to make a sushi fan swoon.
For dessert, a green tea lava cake (B200) reads like poetry on the plate. Cake shaped like a cordial holds a green tea-laced chocolate sauce within its moist walls. Broken, the sauce empties onto a cloud of whipped cream, through which a strawberry rises like the sun.
Fl 5, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloenchit Rd | 0 2160 5880-1
yuutaro.com | daily 11am-10.30pm
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