We are enraptured by the vibrant orange of the delicately cut ginzake (Japanese premium salmon), the first dish at the 3rd Sushi Summit on May 22, 2022 at APW Bangsar.
“Don’t compare the differences between the sushi—just enjoy them,” says Chef Makoto Saito Sam of Sushi Hibiki, one of the five chefs featured at this bi-annual event. “Each style is different, and different is good. You can see the variety of sushi this way."
In methodical fashion, he places the ginzake on a neat oblong of freshly made sushi rice, his serious expression brightens up with a smile as he presents the inviting morsel.
The Sushi Summit was founded by Saito and APW founder Ee Soon Wei to showcase the beautiful craft of sushi in an intimate setting. Like speed dating, you get to know each chef up close and personal as they rotate from one table to the next. Apart from Saito, the featured chefs in this edition include Eddie Ng of Ed.ju Omakase, Haruka Hokune of Sushi Azabu, Jeff Ramsey of Sushi Babe at Japas, Ronii Lee of Shiki Omakase and Jack Weldie of Chipta 11A.
Makoto Saito Sam
The first sushi chef to show off his chops is Saito, who specialises in edomae, a centuries-old Japanese method of preparing sushi. “A classic style of aged sushi that you rarely see even in Japan,” he explains.
Prior to the invention of refrigerators or ice boxes, fresh seafood had to be marinated with salt and vinegar, or soaked in soy sauce, lengthen their shelf life. Although initially a method of preservation, it inevitably transforms the texture and flavour profile of edomae sushi, from the melt-in-your-mouth ginzake to the buttery soft feel of nii-yariika (spared squid) to the refreshing palate cleanser of umezisho-maki (plum and oba leaves roll).
Star Sushi: It’s the sweet simplicity of the uni, which Saito dubs "level one uni" that had us begging for seconds. The uni's rich, buttery texture and fresh, briny flavour spoiled us for good.