The buzz: Chef Masahiro Misaki, the guy behind Sushi Misaki, Rain Hill’s high-end yet approachable omakase restaurant, is throwing his weight behind another minimalist venture in the mall. At Sabu Chan, he’s brought over chef Kimizono Ryuji, formerly of the one-Michelin-starred Aichiya restaurant in Yokohama, to work his magic on a medley of mollusks and crustaceans.
The decor: The brightly lit, wood-heavy space is almost identical to Misaki’s first spot. Reservations aren’t necessary but with only 10 seats at the counter, you’ll want to make sure you nab one. Watch the chef cut, slice, boil, toss and sear right before your eyes, while a small fish tank full of mollusks on a grand slatted wood facade even gives a sneak peek of your dinner.
The food: It’s all about shellfish, prepared with not-so-traditional techniques. Different condiments play with the texture and form: spicy-tasting shoyu powder; pungent yuzu paste with steamed scallop; thick tofu sauce with a touch of sesame on a poached briny oyster in soy sauce. For the full experience, opt for the B3,000 16-course set menu. Sesame tofu, flavorful clear short-neck clams, firm yet sweet conches cooked in soy sauce and charbroiled oysters in miso all feature. You’ll also get to try a selection of bouncy surf clam, crisp sliced geoduck and sweet fresh scallop (either grilled or in shabu with kombu [kelp] soup). The shellfish are imported from places, like Hokkaido and Chiba—including the buttery abalone steak that’s sure to get you salivating as it’s cooked up just a meter away. Set lunch menus start at a very enticing B700 per person and include 4-5 appetizers, with your choice of fish boiled in soy sauce or mirin (sweet rice wine). Alternatively, you can order dishes a la carte.
The drinks: A comprehensive sake list includes bottles from different regions, including Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo (a 2015 vintage sake from Toyama, B360/glass) and Houraisen Junmai Daiginjo Bi (B600/glass), that’s renowned for its beautifully mild, sweet flavor. At the top end of the scale is Kokuryu Shizuku from Fukui—a 720ml bottle costs B7,000.
Why we’d come back: This is the only omakase place in town that focuses solely on shellfish, and the serious dining experience carries a relatively low price tag. Wanvida Jiralertpaiboon