Went to Sushi Couture this past Saturday.
Ordered the Omakase:
First of the 5-course omakase was a clam broth. I'm thinking it was a dashi broth, but I may be mistaken -- while salty, there was also sweetness to balance it out. The natural mild bitterness of the clams added another level of complexity, and the parsley was a classic complement to the clams.
Next came a trio of grilled items: lightly grilled capelin, a broiled mussel with mayo sauce, grilled eggplant with bonito flakes. The capelin, while fresh and full of roe, felt a bit room-temperature to the touch and could have been cooked a little bit more. The mussel was topped with a tangy mayo, almost like a japanese big mac sauce. The eggplant was grilled chopstick-tender, and the bonito flakes danced on the plate. The bonito provided the amount of salt and umami to balance with the mildly sweet/soy-seasoned eggplant.
With our next few dishes came picked ginger, wasabi paste, and fresh wasabi. I suspect that the fresh wasabi is from a tube, as a friend had brought back a tube from a wasabi farm in Japan, and the texture and flavour were very similar. Other "fresh grated" wasabi in the past haven't had as much nasal kick, which both the tubed and wasabi here demonstrated. Not that I'm complaining -- I'll gladly eat this over the paste.
The signature shooters with tobiko (flying fish roe), ikura (salmoe roe), uni (sea urchin), oyster, and a quail egg. At Japango, I remembered the different textural layers and flavours coming in waves -- here, the flavours seemed overpowered by the ikura, but finished very well with the deliciously sweet uni. Texturally, the various elements seemed to blend together too much.
On the same plate, a whole aji (mackerel) was deftly fileted to produce three pieces of nigiri, three small lime-cups of loose aji meat, and presented alongside the whole unbroken skeleton wrapped in a ring. The fish was unbelievably fresh, and the ginger-scallions and lime weren't even necessary - the typical fishiness was completely absent.
From the left, blowtorched kurodai (seabream) and seared BC albacore tuna. While the shape of the kurodai seemed a little odd, the fish itself tasted incredible with a hint of char. The BC albacore tuna was topped with a garlic oil, and the flesh was juicy and firm.
From the right, tempura eel and madai (red seabream). The tempura batter was light, un-oily, while the unagi was fresh, substantial, mildly savoury and sweet -- i don't remember the last time I've had unagi that's not soggily drenched in bbq sauce and falling apart. The madai was also lightly blowtorched, exhibiting that mild char flavour as well.
The signature Sushi Couture roll (or so I believe) - imitation crab and cucumber slivers inside, topped with salmon and the tangy mayo, and broiled. It was interesting and had strong flavours, but I think I might have prefered something less fusion. For what it was, the execution was good, but I would only order this from the menu if dining with less adventurous eaters.
Tempura banana with a mediocre green tea ice cream. Meh.
The biggest complaint about the evening? The wait between courses was abnormally long, but I do understand that items on a custom menu would take longer, as the chef's assistants wouldn't normally handle these dishes. Between our 5th course and the dessert, the chef came to our table to apologize for the waits - it was a nice gesture, and i'm glad he's aware, because this place is only going to get more and more busy going forward.