Seattle’s Best and I’m Not Talking Coffee Part I

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Last week a friend of mine and I took a four day trip to Seattle, Washington. They say August and September are the best months to visit. We had planned to see some Dale Chihuly art, watch a Mariners game, and eat, of course!

Eat is what we did and we did it well. Seattle is known to have fresh seafood so we thought we would give sushi a try. Our first night out, thanks to yelp, we found Nishino. With 4.5 stars and about 250 reviews, it seemed worth a shot. Many yelpers were suggesting the omakase. Omakase means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese. At a sushi restaurant, you are giving the Chef the authority to serve you whatever he chooses. I have never ordered omakase and thought there was no better time like the present.

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Course 1
The first plate had three pieces of fish beautifully presented. From left to right we had smelt nanban, uni on top of egg tofu, and hamachi with jalapeño, ginger salsa and a fried garlic chip. I could tell this was a great start to an amazing meal. I am not a fan of uni, but this one was awesome. The combination of the fresh uni on the soft egg tofu was sweet and just melted in my mouth.

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Course 2
Amaebi ceviche with avocado, oranges, red onion, and jalapeño. The ceviche is topped with a shrimp head that is deep fried. I put the shrimp head aside and ate the ceviche. I was feeling adventurous so I ended eating the fried shrimp head minus the eyes. It was crispy and good.
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Course 3
Albacore tuna with an onion soy dressing on a bed of greens and lotus root chips. This was the only fish that Mori, our sushi chef said was from Seattle so I was looking forward to it. This was most delicious and next to the uni tofu was a winner.
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Course 4
Steamed Manila clams with enoki mushrooms and seaweed in a dashi broth. This dish puts your typical miso soup to shame.
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Course 5
Fried oysters and tempura French green beans. This may have been my least favorite dish although I enjoyed the variety.
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Course 6
Curry dusted pan seared halibut cheeks with cilantro aioli. I was amazed by the size of the cheeks. The cheeks on a fish are the sweetest and most tender part of a fish. I was beginning to get quite full, but still enjoyed the flavors of this dish.
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Course 7
Tuna, salmon, and scallop nigiri and tuna, white fish, and hamachi roll. We were on the home stretch now. There was no way I was going to eat the rice from the nigiri. I pulled the sashimi off and ate the tuna, salmon, and scallop. Salmon sashimi is my favorite, but I was a bit disappointed with this one. I’ve had better.
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Course 8
Mango, red bean, and raspberry white chocolate mochi ice cream with assorted fruits.
Although I was really full now, this beautiful dessert plate was put in front of us. I forced myself to eat the first bite of mochi, but I had no problem devouring my share.

This was one of my most amazing meals ever. Definitely my best Japanese meal. I loved the variety, the beauty, and the creativity of the omakase. For $60, it was a steal. I thought to myself, I could fly here to have dinner for about the same price as French Laundry! Well, that would be a little lavish, I guess it will have to be another trip to Seattle including a meal at Nishino.

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