Simple confusion

By BRIAN DUFF  |  August 29, 2007

Miyake is doing rolls with admirable restraint. He eschews syrupy sauces for a tiny dollop of bright red plum sauce. In place of the minty sprigs of kinome you find in Japan, he sprinkled peppery sprouts of radish that cut though the fattiness of the seared salmon in the “salmon lady roll.” The “Masa spicy tuna roll” did not have so much chili as to overwhelm the smoky smell and charred flavor of the seared yellowtail on top. The runny tiramisu made with green tea powder is the best dessert I have had in a sushi place in a while.

To enjoy Food Factory Miyake there is no need for a garrulous inquisitiveness that would shock sushi’s original patrons — the Edo-period elite who played an after-dinner game in which they revealed their guesses about what the chef had given them to eat. Rather than seeking spontaneous seminars, dinner at chef-owned spots like Miyake or King of the Roll can resemble another Japanese game, described by Proust in Recherche, in which indistinct balls of paper are placed in water and unwind into unexpected shapes as they moisten. So should we, at the sushi bar, just soak it in and see what emerges.

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Brian Duff: bduff@une.edu

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