Yuzu No Hana
Yuzu No Hana would be almost hidden if not for the large black awning telling folks strolling down the street that there’s high end sushi at the top of a rickety set of stairs. This place is from the same sushi bar masterminds behind Japango.
Despite this tucked away location it does a bustling lunch and dinner service of seafood hot pots, sushi platters, and Japanese appetizers like soft shell crab and oyster shooters.
The restaurant is much larger than Japango and has a different vibe, and though it's nestled away on a second floor the ceilings are high and nice big windows let in lots of light and provide a charming view of the street below.
An oyster shooter ($7) is a fishy umami combo that shouldn’t be missed on account of nervous tastes.
An oyster is served in a shot glass with a quail egg, tobiko, urchin, green onion and ponzu jello. I find the uni at both restaurants can be a bit fishy but creamy overall, and this is a zinging flavour combination.
A soft shell crab starter ($12) is coated in arare, a type of rice used to make popular Japanese crackers, and served with a ponzu reduction and a sort of Japanese tartar sauce.
The crab is juicy and the fried crunchy coating is nice and unique, the rice coating adding extra pop.
Seafood served in a stone bowl ($20) is a fishy medley of tempura shrimp, Manila clams and lightly grilled Hokkaido scallops topped with a quail egg and some tobiko for colour and freshness.
That’s all served on a bed of rice and seasonal Japanese veg like cucumber, zucchini, daikon, fiddlehead, green onion and arugula.
The sushi omakase ($55) is the specialty here, chef’s choice of 18 nigiri, no substitutions. Each nigiri is lovingly presented in a sublimely artistic way, a shrimp head taking centre stage next to a mouthwatering cut of uni.
Mackerel, crab, several kinds of tuna, snapper shrimp, and more are given excellent knifework treatment, some scored and some butterflied, some torched, and most topped with elaborate garnishes like roe, caper, gold leaf, and edible petals.
For dessert, sake cheese cake ($8) carries the concept through, as this is also a sake bar. You won’t taste overwhelming notes of sake here, but this slice of cheesecake is just as elegantly presented as the sushi and makes for a light, fitting end to an extravagant meal here.