By Michael Karlo Lim
IN ANIME, characters can combine to make another, larger or more powerful one. After each fusion sequence, the combination will prove itself Gestalt. The Radisson Blu Cebu’s Lobby Lounge presents their Combination Mecha in Sushisake; their 21-seater, contemporary, sushi and sake restaurant. From the mechanism of pairing sushi with their selections of sake, sushi Chef Jefferson “Jeff” Yalung also plays up the flavor profiles of ingredients in each base configuration in traditional Edomae style.
Edamame probably is to the Japanese what bar peanuts are to the rest of the world. These are served chilled for preservation and with Maldon sea salt for a subtle crunch.
The Kani Salad is served with generous shredded crabstick on a slaw of cucumber and white cabbage. Dollops of orange tobiko make like briny popping candy. Thick and sweet Japanese mayo and the citrusy Ponzu dressing tie up all the textures and flavors.
The Dynamite Roll is the penultimate combination of salmon, tuna, and grouper. It is rolled with pickled radish then deep-fried in tempura batter, topped with creamy crab and then torched. Teriyaki sauce roasted pistachio finish the multiple treatments for, as named, an explosive flavor combo.
The serpentine reference of the Dragon Roll begins with eel on eel – broiled unagi, topped with eel sauce and more thinly sliced unagi. The delicately bittersweet flavor of the inclusive asparagus contrasts with the fruitiness of mango, and the entirety gets a kick from the spicy crab meat.
The rather Western Surf ‘n Turf concept is given a Japanese touch with shrimp tempura instead of the usual plain-fried. Thinly sliced Angus beef tenderloin is torched to medium rare and rolled in nori and rice before being given Asian last names of spicy Japanese mayo, Teriyaki sauce, and Tanuki flakes.
A meal is never over without dessert, and Sushisake presents a stellar lineup of Yuzu Tart with Sake, Meringue and Green Tea Ice Cream, Sesame Seed Panna Cotta and Coconut Ice Cream, Mochi Ice Cream with Fresh Mango, and Fresh Cut Fruits.
From the comprehensive sake lineup, we sampled their best three. Gekkeikan Sparkling Sake at 7 percent alcohol and carbonated is best paired with raw and spicy food to refresh the palate. This is particularly the case of this dry sake to wash away oily or meaty mouthfeels. Sweeter sparkling varieties are excellent with desserts.
Gekkeikan Nigori at 10 percent alcohol is a roughly filtered Junmai, which most likely accounts for its sweet taste. It can also be paired with most kinds of Japanese food.
Gekkeikan Yamada Nishiki Tokubetsu Junmai is at 14-15 percent alcohol content. The SuperCalifornia Roll is creamy, heavy on the tongue, and sweet allowing the counterbalance of this sake edging more into dry.
Sushisake welcomes guests and diners from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Reservations are encouraged by calling (63 32) 402 9900 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The titular reference to the euphemism is to the effect of “swearing” by the experience.