Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Featuring Salmon on Fire at Oishii Boston

The fish is on fire at Oishii Boston.

No, seriously, the salmon is on fire! As in slices of salmon, draped across a horizontal stalk of lemongrass, dotted with seasonings and flower petals and then set ablaze before your very eyes.

For $30, you can enjoy a veritable “Salmon on Fire,” a very different take on seared sashimi (and how!), complete with shallots, citrus ponzu, sweet soy, chives, and…flames! Watch the delicate multicolored petals wilt as the dancing fire licks and singes away, creating aromas only torched seafood and spices can elicit.

And as if that weren’t enough of a feast for the all the senses, a little saucer of raspberry gastrique sits at the base of this smoldering offering, for those who crave the extra tang.
Also sitting under the salmon are coffee beans—used as fodder for the fire, once the rum is poured over them and set alight. You are in control of how much sizzle your salmon sustains; simply snuff out the flames when your salmon has been seared to your liking.

In the mood for more of the unusual? There’s the “foie gras sushi diced with fruit”—strawberries and raisins, to be exact, with pear sauce, eel sauce, sprouts and shredded fried sweet potatoes. I couldn’t help but order this one; it isn’t often that I see foie gras sushi on the menu—combined with fruity flavors, no less.

Choose between hamachi and toro for the “Truffle Roll,” a beautifully presented eight-piece roll laden with black truffles and Ossetra caviar on top for $25. Inside the roll, shrimp tempura awaits—with spicy mayonnaise and cucumbers. I requested the Toro Truffle Roll, because quite simply, I had a hankering for the fatty, unctuous tuna. The spicy mayonnaise in this case didn’t stand out, as it was overpowered by the popping flavors of the caviar and the succulent toro.

There simply isn’t enough time in one sitting to try all the spectacular plates at Oishii Boston, and I was on a tight schedule. The majority of the dishes are also rather ritzy, with prices to match; in the Cold Appetizers section, the White Salmon Truffle Sashimi costs $75.

Want a hot appetizer instead? How about the Escargot Tempura with Lemon Foam for $25? There’s even the Okonomiyaki, the renowned, yet somehow elusive, Japanese “savory pancake” (sometimes Westerners loosely refer to it as Japanese pizza or Japanese omelet). This is a popular Japanese snack that is seldom seen in sushi bars. At Oishii Boston, it’s actually quite affordable at $15—and it comes with squid, shrimp, scallop and imitation crab (there’s also a vegetarian option).

For the not-so-brave souls who wish to go for the more Americanized stuff—there’s always the Alligator Roll, an avocado-covered maki containing shrimp tempura, imitation crab stick and eel. For this is a sushi house that serves Wagyu beef as carpaccio…or inside pan-seared taquitos with truffle oil! There seems to be something for everyone here.

For my final plate, I decided on the Coconut Sphere dessert. The waitress vigorously nods her head in agreement, concurring that I have made an excellent choice. The Coconut Sphere looks exactly like it sounds: a hollow, icy coconut-flavored orb drizzled with chocolate sauce and crowned with coffee mousse and a caramel-colored filigree of molten sugar. A strawberry and mint leaf give it the finishing touch, while a foundation of yuzu sherbet and blackberries complements this most unique concoction.

When a dessert is as beautifully presented as this one, the question then becomes How do I eat this? I ogle the white, spherical body from all angles for a few moments, sizing it up, trying to figure out where to begin...how do I break this? (I had been told it's mostly hollow on the inside save for some coffee mousse.) And then the waitress showed me: you whack it with the back of your spoon until the globe crumples! Then you dig into the deconstructed pile of coconutty shell and coffee mousse, mix in the yuzu base, and lose yourself in nirvana.

Oishii Boston
1166 Washington Street, Boston

No comments :