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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tokkuri Tei 2: Going Back for More

Have you ever enjoyed a meal so much that you had to do it again as soon as possible?

Tokkuri Tei's Award-Winning Spider Poke Roll

tokkuri tei 2 spider poke roll 2

After our recent dinner at Tokkuri Tei in Honolulu (thank you, FoodBuzz!), I raved so much about how good it was that my mom wanted us to take her there.

One of the memorable dishes was the Spider Poke roll (see picture above) which is a soft-shell crab, fried tempura style and wrapped in a sushi roll along with two kinds of sashimi. They then top it with loads of ikura (salmon roe) and masago (smelt roe) and serve it with a spicy sauce. Awesome.

We arrived at the restaurant without making reservations beforehand. Good thing we got there early, because a lot of tables had already been reserved. Fortunately, we were able to sit right at the bar, which was fine with us. We like to sit and watch the sushi chef work, asking him questions and marveling at his skill. Here's a video of him making our salmon sashimi plate:

And the finished product:

Tokkuri Tei Salmon Sashimi Plate

tokkuri tei 2 salmon sashimi 3

Notice the imprint of the leaf on the plug of wasabi. He pressed the wasabi into a shiso leaf to get that design. Little things like that are so impressive to me!

Tokkuri Tei Salmon Skin Salad with Silken Tofu

tokkuri tei 2 salmon skin salad with tofu

The salmon is broiled skin-side up and then shredded up before mixing it in with the microgreens, radish sprouts and onion. The mixture is then placed atop a block of fresh, silken tofu, then topped with some shredded nori. My mom really liked this dish and asked if we could replicate it. We'll try!

One thing to note is that the salmon skin salad we had on Tuesday was overdressed and caused the greens to wilt. Tonight's salad was done just right, with no wilting and no puddle of salty dressing on the plate. The Friday night chef is better than the Tuesday night one? Maybe.

Hotate Nigiri

tokkuri tei 2 hotate nigiri

These scallops were so fresh and buttery, you could cut them with a chopstick!

Tekka Maki

tokkuri tei 2 tekka maki

Check out how huge the pieces of tuna are in these little rolls. That's a high ratio of fish to rice! This is the good stuff, too - no strings attached!

Aji Nigiri

tokkuri tei 2 aji nigiri

When we sat down at the sushi bar, Daniel immediately noticed the Aji (mackerel) sitting inside the glass case in front of him. "You like?" asked the chef, holding the fish up. "Just flown in from Japan."

The aji nigiri were indeed fresh. No hint of fishiness, just sweet flesh perfectly balanced with slightly spicy ginger shreds and minced green onion, plus a few drops of soy sauce. Perfect!

The next time we're back in Honolulu, we're coming back to Tokkuri Tei!

Where is your favorite sushi place? Leave us a comment!

Aloha, Nate

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Deb in Hawaii said...

Looks like visit #2 was great too. I want to go back as well! That Aji Nigiri looks and sounds incredible.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Deb - we learned our lesson and ordered no more than 3 dishes at a time. It made for a more enjoyable meal, not having to be rushed.