My two-day vacation had been advised well in advance, with any last-minute tasks to be communicated no later than Tuesday. There were, of course, a select few that proceeded with messages even after my deserved disappearance, but were rewarded with the cold shoulder.
Desperate attempts to wrap up work activities by the early afternoon mark. We then prepared ourselves for the drive downtown. There was minimal traffic in advance of the Gardiner Full Closure - the very two-day sequence for which I had just finished arranging logistics and H&S protocols.
Alighting onto the top floor revealed ample spacing between tables and plastic barriers encased in movable frames to slip between them. While we had booked for a small party of two, a six-seater was offered to us.
The dressing was tasty, however oily towards the bottom; in conjunction with the creamy drizzle, the dish grew gradually more satiating. Thankfully for dressing-despisers like myself, not all sections of the salad had been cloaked with savoury condiments.
Akami, otherwise known as blue fin tuna, was revealed as a slice of shimmering scarlet, highly saturated and positively glossy. It was fresh, and a silkier, leaner cut than those adopting the universal "tuna" classification in standard sushi spots. That said, I retained regrets towards this order, for it was costly, not entirely enjoyable for me, and also bled into the daikon underneath.
Chu-Toro was served with cucumber, likely to offset the butteriness of its uniform marbling. It wasn't nearly as tender as Shunoko, but was nonetheless still luscious. Negitoro remains the favourite, however the alternative wasn't offered this time around. I was informed that one out of the two pieces had been veiny.
For a carby component, we took to the consistently scrumptious Aburicious. The platter contained two pieces each of ebi (shrimp), saba (mackerel), salmon (sake), and the restaurant's signature JaBistroll (my personal favourite!). Due to stomach capacity reaching its threshold, only the saba and salmon were consumed. They were great as always, but a tad saucy for my degree of fullness at that point.
- Kocha Umeshu (12% offered in 3 oz.)
- Nigori Umeshu (13.5% offered in 1.5oz, 3 oz)
By comparison, Nigori Umeshu not as fragrant, but adopted a profile similar to that of Choya. Within the bottle was an unfiltered concoction with bits of plum within the mix, making for a cloudy appearance. It wasn't as unique as Kocha in terms of profile, however a handful of the serving staff had spoken highly of it.
Umeshu is often served in combination with club soda, though recommendations from the manager had led to me an even purer experience: "Usually, I just have it as is." And it was perfect - light, fruity, and absolutely wondrous.