Sushi of Shiro in Seattle
Master Chef Shiro Kashiba is well-known in Seattle as the father of Japanese cuisine in the city. Sourcing the freshest ingredients, preparing unfussy and authentic Japanese fare in a friendly and simple environment are his signature trademarks.
Atmosphere: Unpretentious, lively and simple. In a way this restaurant reminds me Nobu’s “Matsuhisa” in Los Angeles. Simple wooden tables and chairs, japanese art on the walls, long sushi counter with busy chefs dressed all in white and of course the special doing-it-all-for-you japanese toilet. Wear jeans, shirt or anything casual except flip-flops and you will enjoy an unforgettable dinner in a full comfort.
Food: Fresh, superb quality fish and seafood, simple preparation. You are in Seattle so get ready for the best salmon you probably have ever had. The fish is so delicate, intense and complex here that I would call it a new species rather than the salmon you get elsewhere. To savour the fish the most just order it as a plain sashimi or sushi (on a bun of rice), so its flavour can reveal itself fully.
Starting with Albacore tataki salad, that my local friends frequenting Shiro for many years like the most from the appetizers, I knew that this dinner was going to be something out of this world in terms of dining experience. The Albacore tuna fish was so intense almost meaty in texture, but it was so perfectly balanced that only the most sophisticated palate would recognise it only by eye on a fish market. Served in yummy, melting chunks with a fermented sauce and spring onions, it was simple yet more rewarding than most of the special “new style” melon, kiwi or whatever else with tatakis I have eaten in many fashionable japanese restaurants.
The sushi and sashimi are heavenly fresh and of the highest quality. From the toro, yellowtail, salmon to lesser known fish the chef favours on the market on that certain morning. I rarely like just plain sushi and fancy the omakasa style prepared by a chef in his own original manner, but at Shiro the fish is so perfect and the rice just well-cooked and not too overly cooked and sticky that there is no need for special omakasa sushi here.
The rolls are simple as well. The spicy tuna roll (top left) is out-of-ordinary and the seared salmon (centre) and smoked eel (right) rolls are superb. The eal is served with a dense, honey-like sweet sauce atop the california-style roll. The seared salmon is accompanied with its eggs and chopped zesty green spring onions.
Cuisine: Japanese traditional sushi and cooked meals.
Visit: October 2012
Price: High (the most famous Japanese chef in Seattle cannot sell his carefully sourced fish of highest quality for pennies).
Drinks: Beer, sake, japanese green tea and some wine, but not too much choice for wine so I went for tea this time. I have learned this time that with plain and superb quality ingredients in japanese cuisine I can appreciate the flavours better when drinking only green and grassy tea with the food. At more modern restaurants such as Nobu I need the wine to help me metabolize all the complex sauces and heavier dishes. Moreover, the acidity especially in white wine allows me to eat more of these rich dishes.
Opening hours: Dinner Mon-Sun: 5:30–10:30pm.
Contact: Tel: +1 (206) 443-9844
Address: 2401 2nd Avenue Seattle, WA 98121, USA