Zurich, the 29th of June 2016
When we heard that the founders of Miki's and Ikoo had opened a new Izakaya style pop-up restaurant, we couldn't wait to try it; and we were not dissapointed. The restaurant may still use chinese cutlery, as the restaurant's apologetic chef Hiroshi Ochiai remarked, but the food is authentic Japanese. The menu is filled with a variety of lesser known Japanese dishes: You won't find any ramen or sushi here. This makes Mitsu's a unique local in Zurich. The restaurant's chef also boasts 20 years at the famed Zurich restaurant Sala of Tokyo, and the finesse and tastes of the dishes reflect his experience as a chef.
We began our culinary discovery with these starters:
For the main course we decided to try dishes accross the board:
Finally, we were tempted with a small desert of Ginger and Matcha ice cream.
To quenche our thrists we ordered some Umeshu (plum wine, 18%).
This time, a friend of ours, eager to try out the new restaurant, joined us for the degustation, so this represents a menu for 3 people.
The Umeshu was fresh and sweet, perfect to start off the evening.
In the meantime, the tofu was heating up in a pot on our table. After 10 minutes, the fresh tofu was revealed. The silky tofu, topped with a slight pinch of Himalayan salt, spring onions and soya sauce was delicious and brought out the tofu's natural flavour. All of us were thrilled.
Subsequently, the dishes were all served together in the middle of the table to be shared among the guests.
Our second starter was a algea salad topped with a tofu cream (top right hand picture). The cream was light, had a nutty flavour and mixed well with the darker algea.
All main dishes were just as exquisit. The vegetable tempura were light and crispy, with the distinct taste for each vegetable. The accompanying miso butter was creamy and a real discovery. The tofu broth was hearty, with a fine broth and glass noodles. The pork belly was incredibly tender, after being seared for over 48 hours. The sauce was slightly thiker than expected, but very tasty. The onsen tamago rounded the whole dish off nicely.
Finally, the teriyaki beef was perfeclty cooked, still pink in the middle. The slices of beef were juicy and the sauce light and not overpowering. A great combination.
We ended our meal with a fresh scoup of Ginger and Matcha ice cream. The ginger was fresh and slightly spicy in taste, while the familiar bitterness of the matcha was rounded by the ice cream.
We can wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to try some lesser known Japanese dishes. It is a little gem in the heart of Zurich. The cuisine is exquisit and fresh, with a chef attentive to every detail. We can not wait to visit again and try more of the chef's distincitve menu items and are confident that the little restaurant near Stauffacher will quickly build up its reputation as one of THE Japanese places to try. As a pop-up concept, it will most likely only be open until end of this year.
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