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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Omakase at Naked Fish Japanese Bistro, Salt Lake City Utah

Omakase Naked Fish

There are some people who view food as fuel, as a time you stop to renourish the body three times a day.  And then there are the kind of people who wake up thinking about what they are going to have for dinner, and all the meals in between they will partake in to hold them off until this magical hour of the day called dinner.  If you've been reading this blog enough, you probably know I lean heavily on the latter.  When I heard about the Omakase at Naked Fish, my dinner driven brain was beyond excited to experience this event first hand.  And I can't think of a better way to celebrate a special event than 9 amazing courses, several which are revolved around my true love, seafood. 

First off, you have to love food to love this experience.  And that is exactly what it is, an experience.  I don't mean love food in a I-love-cheeseburgers kind of way, I mean love food in a way that is open to try new things, that can appreciate the quality, the thought, and the time put into a dish.  

Omakase Naked Fish

What is it exactly?  Nine delicate, intricate, well thought out courses, beautifully plated and stretched over an exquisite dining experience spanning about 2.5 hours.  I would say it's a delicious combination of mystery and excitement.  You know those rom coms where He takes Her to a beautiful restaurant, smiles at her across the table, and orders both of their meals without a seconds hesitation?  This is kind of like that except theres no one smiling at you on the other end and the guy doing the ordering knows nothing about you, but everything about food.  Chef's choice.

So a little less romantic but in my opinion, far more delicious.  The chef is in charge of the night, choosing all of the courses and keeping a watchful eye on the pace of the dishes.  There is no menu, no list, no order (besides dessert last of course).  Nine amazing dishes are delivered to you, and explained in perfect detail.  You finish one course, and wait in excited anticipation to see what amazing and unique creation will come out of the kitchen next.

And the best part?  
Nine courses are only $65 a person (plus tip).  I know half of Utah just fell of their seat as I wrote only.  But people, we are talking 9 delicate well though out beautiful courses (several which are sushi and sashimi) from a Japanese Bistro.   I left the restaurant amazed, full, and bewildered that that much amazing food came out of one kitchen, and for $65 a person. Below you can see the amazing nine courses we devoured at Naked Fish. Apologies for the cellphone pictures - I didn't want to ruin the meal with a clunky flash on DSLR.

Naked Fish Japanese Bistro
67 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
 Omakase (お任せ o-makase
is a Japanese phrase that means "I'll leave it up to you" 

Omakase Naked Fish

Herbal Tea: Tarragon, Rosemary, Lime, Thyme, Lemongrass and Mint
I was obsessed with this simple refreshing and delicious tea. I swore to buy these fresh herbs and make my own little tea bundle. It was so good we had them refill the hot water several times.

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 1: Sea urchin (uni), octopus fish eggs and seaweed angel hair in a house vinaigrette.
The sea urchin with the large fish eggs, and the octopus are some of my favorite things from the sea. The seaweed angel hair was fun and different, being very, very thin, stringy, with an interesting texture.

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 2: Sashimi; Fluke, yellowtail, tuna and salmon
I was amazed at the amount and high quality of all the fish on the plate. This was a large course for a long menu, and a lot of sashimi. The tuna and salmon were very prime cuts and literally melted in your mouth. Also important to note is that Naked Fish provides it's own in house blended and aged soy sauce, which had an addictive rich, not too salty flavor.

Course 3: Sun-choke and potato puree with trout eggs marinated in dashi pine oil.
This was really fun and different. The two sun-choke bites had an earthy flavor paired with the pine oil and the pop of the trout eggs. The display was also gorgeous. 

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 4: Smoked trout with a bone butter and pickled root veggies 
What was really unique is the way the fish was killed, and then smoked. The fish was killed using "iki-jimi", a Japanese method of humanely killing the fish. The process kills the fish instantly using a special tool to immediately stop the brain, preventing any reflex, and is supposed to protect the meat of the fish keeping it tender. I can't even describe how amazing this piece of trout tasted. This may have been my favorite part of the meal (maybe tied with all the raw fish, and that uni......). 

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 5: Sun-choke Mushroom Tart
This was hearty and filling. The sun-chokes had an inner creamy, luscious flavor and the mushrooms added a deep earthiness on top. Garlic scapes on top with herb tops added flavor and made it look like a forest.  

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 6: Shishito peppers, scallops, and chicken meatball skewers yakitori (grilled skewer) style
This was a really fun course. Again, large portions and filling and each skewer had its own sauce or spice. The scallops melted in your mouth, and the spice mix was divine on the chicken meatball. 

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 7: Duck, root puree and thin apple slices.
Juicy flavorful duck, paired perfectly with the creamy root puree and crunchy apples. Naked Fish also offers a Wagyu (the real Wagyu) option here for an extra 20-25$ per person.

Omakase Naked Fish y

Course 8: Snapper, and fluke sushi two ways
I was so happy to see more raw fish. The pieces were beautiful and delicate, each with their own flavor. The last piece was tougher fluke fin, with hatching to make it more tender and almost "pop" while you ate it. It was remarkable how different two pieces of the same fish could be.

Omakase Naked Fish

Course 9: Pudding with chocolate and rose hips. 
This was really fragrant and refreshing. So out of the box I would have never imagined this dessert up. The rose hips gave it a floral taste, while the chocolate fed my inner chocolate obsessed soul. 

Reliving this post has be seriously considering when I can try another set of Omakase at Naked Fish. An amazing meal and a fine dining experience for a reasonable price.  If you love to try something new, and consider yourself on the more adventurous side of the foodie persona, then this is for you. 

Happy Dining, 

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