Owner and chef Makoto Tokuyama of Cocoro in Auckland teams up with the Daniel Wilson and the Huxtable crew to prepare a stunning seven course Japanese degustation.
Chef Makoto Tokuyama will bring his mix of contemporary and traditional Japanese cuisine from his multi award winning Auckland restaurant Cocoro to Melbourne’s Huxtable.
We arrived as everyone else did so it was busy and every space was taken. We had two seats up at the bar with a great view of all that was going on in the kitchen. There were a few tense moments like when the number of plates were miscounted and they had to plate up one more dish but most of the time, the work was churned out methodically and consistently under the expert guidance of chef Makoto and Daniel.
Filo wrapped Australian Tiger Prawn tempura and olive tempura, sea urchin and miso foam, dried nori seaweed, Tobiko caviar
Crunchy on the outside and meaty and dense on the inside, it was a moreish canape to start proceedings. Salty with the sea urchin sauce but sweet with prawn flavours. Thumbs up.
Next we watched the team plate up Tsukiri and Nigiri consisting of 5 elements:
- Scampi with yuzu zest, salt cured Kobu seaweed
- Australian Long Foot Octopus marinated with Sanbaizu vinegar, wakame, Myoga ginger
- Mackerel with cucumber, lotus root chip and Morami miso
- Oyster served with ponzu vinegar, Junsai water shield, Momiki-orashi and yuzu foam
- Tuna "Zuke" nigiri sushi
The cinammon-miso marinated Ora King Salmon confit and Sakura cured sashimi, dashi compressed courgette greens, poached quail egg, sweetcorn, snow pea and tendril nasturtium flower and leaf, cinammon miso sauce was also amazing, The miso sauce was reminiscent of the sweet miso used in Nobu's black cod miso but I loved this one kissed with a hint of cinammon. Loved the chargrilled sweetcorn, layering the sweetness and the teeny poached quails egge adding a yolky richniess. A beautiful dish both in appearance and flavour.
Main courses ended with the grilled Antarctic Tooth Fish "Saikyo yaki", Yakinasu grilled Asian aubergine puree, Kiname sprinkled bamboo shoots, spinach ohitashi, Gari ginger tempura ball, pickled Kabu turnip, wasabi edamame, black yuzu saikyo miso sauce, yuzu foam. Fresh and light, this fish dish was clean way to end all the main dishes.
Beautifully wobbly in texture and balanced in sweetness and fruit this was gone very quickly!
Overall this was an incredible menu and no one course stood out but all were at an impeccable standard. As a menu it was perfect as the courses flowed and balanced each other. Like a well trained choir, no one voice overtook another causing dischord. Rather they all worked together to form a masterpiece. So enjoyable and so privileged to have enjoyed such harmony and delight.