February 14, 2018
We’ve been working on this video for a goooood long while, and finally we’re ready to share with you our video on Isao Amano: Tenzushi – The Sushi God of the South.
Right from the get go you’ll notice a very different vibe in this video compared to our Sushi Saito video. This has more of a hip hop feel, and I hope you’re getting Samurai Champloo vibes because that was a big inspiration for this edit. Why did we go this route, though, rather than something solemn and reflective? We think it fits, because Tenzushi is very, very different than a traditional Edo style sushi. It’s very untraditional and bucks the norm. You won’t find the traditionally used sauce spread on every piece here. Instead, he uses a citrus called Kabosu, which is just wild. And instead of serving ginger as a palette cleanser, he uses cucumber and salt. He doesn’t serve sake, only green tea, which actually changes to match the progression of the meal.
Instead of starting off his omakase (which means the course of sushi he serves, rather than a-la carte pick and choose sushi menu) with some smaller bites like many places, he just comes right out with the tuna. Instead of stripping down sushi to its essence like you see with traditional sushi style places, Amano-san creates amazing flavour profiles that feel like you’re getting punched in the mouth with love. One bite of sushi has flavours that change and grow as you chew it and as you discover the tiny dash of grated ginger he placed under the fish. The small nutty crunch of a well placed toasted sesame seed suddenly appears on your tongue as you continue to chew. It’s very against the grain, very surprising in what it does and what it brings to the sushi world and so we thought this musical vibe in the edit would suit it more.
Some people don’t seem to believe us when we say that places like Saito or Tenzushi are so highly respected in the chef and sushi world. From another perspective, our friend Jun (from Rachel and Jun) is a big foodie. Jun cooks on his Jun’s Kitchen channel and he reads lots of books about cooking and sushi. When I told him we’re going to Tenzushi for a shoot (maaaany months ago), he was shocked, because Amano-san is at the very front of one of his books on sushi. Tenzushi’s sushi is very respected in Japan, and is often at the top of the Tabelog Lists for sushi which is the local Japanese food ranking website. What we’re trying to explain is that this isn’t just our personal opinion, this is also the opinion of many Japanese people who have experienced his sushi.
It’s an amazing experience, and we’re honoured that he let us shoot with him. We’ve been twice and just lost our minds both times. Unfortunately, Amano-san is taking a break from making sushi at the moment until Spring 2018. We hope all is well and that he’ll be able to keep making quite possibly the most amazingly unique sushi on the planet.
If you’d like to go, please ask your hotel concierge to make a reservation for you as there is no other way to get a seat. Be warned, it’ll take some months in advance planning to get a seat, but you will be delighted.
Here are some more pictures if you feel like seeing amazing sushi. Holy guacamole.