Jan 22, 2009
Our very own Masa.
That's the easiest way to describe Jun Sakamoto, the sushi restaurant owned by the eponymous chef. Jun has developed quite a reputation in São Paulo, as a stern and serious man who charges incredibly high prices for his sushi and won't let anyone mix wasabi into their soy sauce.
In a way, it's all true. But if he won't let anyone mix the wasabi into the soy, for instance, the reason is that he doesn't serve those little green balls of so-called wasabi, but, rather, grates the real stuff on each sushi himself. The root is imported from the mountains of Japan at a premium. Like your sushi less spicy? Tell him, and he'll give you less on the next morsel.
And yes, he's serious. Serious about his craft and his reputation. But I still manage to have nice, easy chats with him whenever I sit in front of him at his counter.
Although you can order à la carte and stick to hot dishes only, I don't recommend it. See Jun as the Brazilian Masa, and reserve a spot at the bar. Then put yourself in his hands and let the man wow you.
Here are photos of my last dinner there, Nov. 08:
the amuse bouche:
Pargo wrapped in shiso:
Squid with a pinch of Hawaiian sea salt:
Ebi (sweet shrimp) lovingly deep-fried right in front of me:
Brunoise of tropical fruits, green tea ice cream, bean paste.
For serious sushi eaters, the place is a must-visit while in São Paulo.
More on São Paulo Japanese restaurants on this blog: