At Sushidokoro Amano, enjoying the best fish is not just about tasting but about learning where they came from. Formerly a fishmonger, Chef Yoshihiro Amano is an expert at sourcing the freshest catches from across Japan, and knows precisely the best way to prepare them. Simple recipes like snapper sashimi and steamed abalone transform into exquisite bites, only made possible with true craftsmanship. You simply must try the miso-marinade sujiko. It’s one of a kind.
Opened in 2013, Sushidokoro Amano is found on a backstreet of a residential neighborhood, just a stop away from Osaka Station. Conveniently located but in a quiet location, you will spot the restaurant with the large wooden sign hanging on its exterior wall. The beautiful calligraphy is the work of the prominent Karatsu-ware potter, Sajiro Tanaka.
Inside, the restaurant is set with sophisticated decor but the ambiance remains warm and inviting. The L-shaped counter that fits nine guests hugs around the open kitchen. As you approach your seat, your eyes are drawn to the tall slender chairs that look like pieces of modern art. Made with Yoshino cedar, the furniture is designed by a Japanese chair designer, Toshio Tokunaga, whose works have been celebrated internationally. “They are probably the most expensive things we have in the restaurant,” Amano says jokingly. “I wanted to make sure the space matches the quality of the food we serve, and that our guests feel comfortable.”
Born a son of a sushi chef, Amano has always sought for ways to be different. With a vision to pursue his own style, he began training at a traditional Japanese restaurant and later with a fishmonger, instead of just taking on the family business. The relationships that he has built over the years have helped him establish his own procurement routes to the best vendors across Japan. A true fish expert, he enjoys sharing his vast knowledge with his guests as they taste his original dishes.
Enjoy the ultimate Tsumami
The seasonal omakase meal starts with tsumami small dishes, followed by courses of beautiful nigiris. The selection depends entirely on what catches the chef could get his hands on. The order of the courses are carefully designed to build a gradual momentum.
Just like in any cuisine, the simplest dishes can often demonstrate the quality of the chef’s skills. Take a plate of sashimi for instance. Caught off the shores of Kutami in Akashi, the red-tinted slices of fresh snapper are beautifully draped over one another. Slightly chewy, every bite unleashes great umami in your mouth. On the side is a small piece of boiled snapper skin, infused with kombu dashi. Enjoy the jelly-like texture.
Next is an ensemble of the treasures of the sea. Pieces of sweet shrimp and sword tip squid are tossed and coated with sea urchin and rich sweet shrimp miso. The rich and salty creaminess brings together all the different flavors so perfectly, without one overpowering another.
The steamed abalone has become a signature dish, simply for its divine flavor, filled with the aroma of the ocean. He likes to use ones that are as large as 500g, typically sent from Sanriku in Tohoku during the winter and from Shimane in the summer. Young blue crabs from Boze are steamed, not boiled, to keep its softness while bringing out all its sweetness.
Miso-marinade sujiko is one of those dishes that will make you want to come back to Sushidokoro Amano. Served only during November to end of December, the sack of salted salmon roe is marinated for a week in a mix of white miso, sake, mirin and dark soy sauce, and lightly seared on the grill. The caramelized pieces of roe pop on your tongue, letting the juice inside meld with the sweet and salty sauce, creating an incredible sensation.
Now, the nigiri. Begin with lighter flavors like squid and Japanese halfbeak, the courses gradually build up to richer flavors like tuna, blue fish, shrimp and sea urchin. Every piece is made to perfection, demonstrating the level of Amano’s sushi craftsmanship. “I think the best kind of shari rice is the kind that has a lingering flavor and goes well with all sorts of fish,” he says.
A long strip of Japanese halfbeak drapes over the small morsel of vinegared rice. It has a beautiful silver shine with the light-colored meat looking so soft and fresh. Instead of using akami, he likes to marinate chutoro. The secret to not marry the fattiness of the meat and the flavors of the soy marinade, he dips the fillet into boiling water for a few seconds, which prevents the meat from soaking up too much of the marinade.
To wrap up the meal, he likes to serve a classic Edomae maki made of soy-marinated kanpyo, dried gourd shavings. The maki is flattened slightly so they are easier to bite.
Thanks to his experience of working as a fishmonger, Amano has a built a great procurement network. For snapper, for example, he is specific to buying catches from Akashi, especially Kutami. The crabs come from Boze in Hyogo Prefecture. He tries to find rare fish that are not distributed widely, which allows him to offer unique dishes to his guests. For the sushi rice, he uses kinuhikari grown in Shiga Prefecture. The small grains are not too sweet and contain just the right amount of moisture. For the vinegar, he mixes two type of red vintages produced by Yokoi Vinegar Brewing. The aromatic sheets of seaweed are sent in airtight packaging from Shiga Prefecture. The wasabi from Mazuma in Gotemba is top quality.
For every menu, Amano curates a selected set of about eight sakes that pair beautifully with each dish. One of his favorite picks is Usumidori, a rare vintage made by Shimaoka Shuzo, an old brewery in Guman Prefecture. Depending on the temperature it’s served in, the sake presents a completely new character. He also stocks popular local vintages like Gunma Izumi as well as top quality brands like Den Haseshoukichi by Doishuzoujyo in Shizuoka Prefecture. The beautiful collection of karatsu sakeware are the works of Sajiro Tanaka, who also did the calligraphy of the restaurant’s sign.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000