I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when it comes to sushi, I am incredibly picky. It’s a centuries-old cuisine with a legacy of precision, skill and protocol behind it that should really be afforded a little more care and respect.
Basically, if I see another wonky rice roll with peppadews and cream cheese, I’m drowning myself in the nearest bottle of soy sauce.
Rant over, let’s talk about Takumi, that Park Road haven for true sushi addicts. Owned by the colourful Hatsushiro Muraoka (more affectionately known as Papa San), it’s the place to go if you’re into a meal that’s simultaneously inventive and authentic.
It’s also the place to go for lunch right now, with a R65 bento box special that knocks the socks off any other I’ve tried. Your 65 smackeroos get you a bowl of miso soup, melt-in-your-mouth nigiri, California rolls, the ubiquitous salmon rose and perfectly light veggie tempura. It’s a diverse enough selection that you almost feel you’re having three courses, but light enough you don’t roll back to the office in need of an afternoon nap.
Papa San’s story sounds like something from Jiro: 15 years of study to become a sushi master; three of those spent washing dishes before he was allowed to go anywhere near a piece of tuna. He jealously guards the secret ingredients in his rice preparation and insists on certain ingredients being flown in from Japan. So your sushi may not have the lowest carbon footprint, but at least you know it’s damn near perfection.
The only letdown as far as I can see, is that there isn’t any Japanese beer available to pair your lunch with – only Thai Singha.
Somehow I survived though.
Where Takumi, 3 Park Road, Gardens
When The special is served Tuesday to Friday noon to 2 pm
Cost R65 per bento box
Contact +27 21 424 8879, www.takumi.co.za
Images courtesy Jade Taylor Cooke and Takumi