Currently, Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is the only restaurant in the world to use clams from a very specific location in Fukuoka, Japan. Sand-free, plump and with the ideal balance of salinity and sweetness, the shellfish are harvested from the waters of Hakata Bay where they grow among ribbons of rich green wakame seaweed. The unusual part? The clams were first born in a laboratory, and nurtured in a secure location off Shikanoshima Island just under an hour’s drive from Fukuoka City.
“The clams are a project we’ve been involved with since the beginning,” explains chef Richard Ekkebus. The Shikanoshima Intermediate Breeding Facility of Fish and Shellfish is located on the southern tip of the island and has been successfully farming clams for the past three years in Japan. “Because the clams are grown between the wakame, they have this beautiful sweetness and a minerality that is very unusual in clams.”