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Mitsu-Ya: A Recommended Sushi Bar and Izakaya
His name is Mitsu and he's the chef at MitsuYa or the house of Mitsu. Straight from Japan, he prepares one roll at a time, one slice at a time… It’s truly an experience to be sitting at the bar in front of Mitsu for Omakase.
Omakase is the chef's choice. Sit at the bar and let go, relax and put yourself in the hands of chef Mitsu as he prepares a selection of innovative and surprising sushi and sashimi especially for you.
When I came here the first time, the place was still in its pre-opening phase. I didn't even have the chance to look at the real menu. Tonight, accompanied by my friends, we decided to sit at the bar. A smile on his face, he carefully and meticulously those plates, cutting fresh fish, laying them in the stone plates while handling them with some utensils a doctor uses. Wasabi is the real thing, the real fresh ginger, a green root shredded on shark fins, aerated and served. Behind the fish display cooled only with ice not to dry the fish, he gets inspired.
Flowers in the side, mustard leaves, the finest of fish where Mitsu starts with the lightest fish up to the strongest in flavor. It's a game, an experience, a life changing experience as you will look at Sushi differently after that.
And he starts...
- A black tray, a small white plate, a printed napkin and wooden chopsticks. Facing the chef, I could ask him any potential of possible question that night. He prepared two black porcelain plates, added white ginger and started shredding the ginger.
- Wasabi deserves a paragraph on its own. Strong and spicy with a lift sweetness, it tickles the tip of your tongue, excited your taste buds and than disappears calmly and slowly.
- First fish is Sea Bass. A light bodied fish from the seashores of Lebanon, sliced carefully, and served on the side of the plate. He cuts it a bit for he soy to be absorbed by the fish. He serves and you pick. He even tells you what to eat with or without soya sauce. Grab it, a bit of soy and finish it with a hint of wasabi.
- Scallops, lightly fire flames, Yusuf on top, and a sprinkle of salt. It's so good. I simply said wow. Hamashi yellow tail, salmon, toro... Two slices of each. The flavors are majestic, while your appetite is opened looking at his skillful hands and his sharp knife. The salmon is breathtaking, covered for two days in the fridge, fatty and oily.
- It started to become serious. Half cooked, fire flamed hamashi belly served on a white porcelain plate, two drops of yuzu juice and served no soy sauce needed. Oh man! It's out of this world. A fatty fish, light like butter, intensively flavorful, juicy and lemony where licking your lips comes unplanned ready to make you smile.
- Shrimp, a large one, on top of rice, this rice that's not sweets, a firm crunch of freshness and cherry on top is some real caviar. What a meal!
- That's madness! Hamashi belly yellow take on rice, half cooked and flame grilled, salted with bits of sea salt. It really is madness. I've never eaten something that good.
- I was busy enjoying him in action to the extent I forgot to take pictures. Black truffle and otoro tuna, salmon sushi and fresh wasabi, fire flamed, cut like magic, pampered with love, soy sauce or yuzu Julie, he is a king. Light rice, juicy fish, the truffle crunch and he screams "sahtein".
- Anago or sea eel, Probably the softest fish I've had. Speechless is the word, sweet and ready to amaze. Waguy beef with flamed foie gras maki acted like a dessert at the end with its sweet notes. It's an amazing creation.
What else can be said, I was not just dining but was taken into the chef’s world. I was flying. It's Japanese like never before in Lebanon enjoying the slices of a Japanese chef while discussing the fish, its origins and ways of preparation. It's new and now available in Lebanon.