Thursday, March 31, 2016

MediterrASIAN sushi at Ocean basket

We love eating fish and seafood at Ocean Basket but in the past their Sushi has been less than perfect, often clumsily made hours or a day in advance, mushy rice and minimal fillings. We are very happy to report that this has now changed. Last month at the press launch we were invited to meet international sushi chef Pepi Anevski of Umami restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark who is a sushi master, was named Chef of the Year at Japan's first World Sushi Cup. He was employed by Ocean Basket to come and train all their staff in how to make good sushi. This has taken more than a month as he travelled around South Africa doing the training. We were embargoed from telling you about this until today but can now pass on the information and you can see some of the excellent sushi we were served by him and the staff at Ocean Basket in Camps Bay in February.
The view from Ocean Basket in Camps Bay on a warm afternoon.
Meeting Pepi for the first time with Winnie Bowman CWM and her sister Lynne
His credentials
Handsome, intelligent, multi-lingual and he loves food
Ocean Basket Marketing Lead Jean Sloane introduces him and their concept to the media. “As seafood procuring experts, we are in a position to offer a superior product at an affordable price and now we can also claim a fresh new menu with a unique blend of flavours that remain true to our Mediterranean cuisine.”
He explains the new concept to us. Sushi can be made with anything as long as you have the basics of seaweed, rice, wasabi and soy sauce and ginger. “I thought of how many fusion restaurants I had been working for that had learned to combine sushi with local flavours. We decided to stop imitating other Japanese restaurants; to respect the sushi basics and then insert Mediterranean flavours… perfect!”
Then it was time to taste some of the new sushi. The new menu includes the following items: Wasabi prawn gunkan; Tarama gunkan with calamari heads; Sesame salmon gunkan with zucchini and tempura; Calamari gunkan with spring onions; Crunchy Athena with pickled red onion; Salmon Tomato roll with fresh basil and grilled green pepper; Kypro prawn roll with Romaine lettuce and origanum sauce; parsley prawn roll; volcano roll and Lemon salmon roll.
All were being prepared by the sushi staff of the restaurant
And served to us in abundance
Why not shaved carrot and courgette instead of wasabi to wrap the rolls? and crisp baby squid tentacles on tramasalata. Breaded calamari on courgette. These were some of the early ideas we sampled
Salmon sesame and tomato and basil rolls, prawn with pesto
Then some rolls with crisp topping and some salmon and mayo with Mediterranean flavours
 Oh those crisp baby squid tentacles with lemon juice
It was a nonstop feast of sushi
You have to try these topped with crunchy Athina
Supervising in the Camps Bay restaurant's very small sushi kitchen
We had been asked to bring along some interesting ingredients so Pepi could make us unusual sushi and he got some really different options
He tried lots of different combinations
We all agreed Strawberry sushi works wonderfully, especially with a touch of wasabi
How about Parma ham topped with sundried tomatoes and baby mozzarella balls served on a leaf of chicory
Who wants to taste?
And voted the best - chopped Biltong topped avocado and lettuce rolls, with basil
A wonderful place to watch the sun go down ...
... with a platter of sushi and some good crisp white wine. Now head off to Ocean Basket to sample the new flavours
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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