eho chef Blog

Entertaining tips and food stories
09 January 2017

A Japanese sushi adventure at home

Written by Victoria Digby

THE GUESTS:
Designer based in London, Chris O'Grady
Designer based in London, Clover Gwynn
Web developer based in London, Joe Gwynn

THE MENU:

Sea bass new style sashimi with mango and coriander
Crab and celery terrine in dashi with yellow gazpacho
Chicken yakitori with preserved lemon and yuzu pepper and sansho
Sea urchin in Japanese egg custard with shiitake dashi
Miso soup with salmon and seasonal vegetables with Hokkaido kombu
Chirashi (scattered) sushi with salmon, prawn, scallops, water chestnuts and kinshi-tamago egg  
Japanese wagashi dessert


THE WASH-UP:
Chris: Akemi and her assistant came and commandeered my small kitchen most expertly. They arrived with most things already prepared and spent two hours setting up and cooking. It was truly exciting to have a professional chef in my kitchen.


She asked a lot of questions before her visit to ascertain exactly what utilities I had. And mostly I was saying: "No, no, no, no, no, I don't have any of those things!". I had the plates, and the knives and forks. But it simply wasn't a problem, she brought everything with her. We used the messenger tool on eho chef to communicate and we kept in close contact in the weeks leading up to the dinner.


 We squeezed eight of us, close friends, all young professionals in our late 20s, into my flat. It was such fun - we had an eclectic mix of mismatching plates and an improvised table with borrowed chairs. We were in our dining room while Akemi and her assistant were in the kitchen which was close enough for us to chat within her hearing - so she could hear us discussing our new experiences of the unusual (to us!) dishes and flavours. Fortunately, we had NOTHING negative to say!


Joe: Yes, I was struck by the freshness of all the ingredients. Such interesting flavours and fragrances emanated from the kitchen and our plates.


Clover: The course I found the most challenging, in terms of a completely new and unusual experience, was the fourth - sea urchin in egg custard with shiitake mushrooms. It reminded me of a crème caramel flavoured with shiitake mushrooms and then it had a sea urchin on top.


Chris: When we were planning the evening, we'd all decided that we wanted to try something completely new and this dish really fulfilled that brief.


Clover: And then we had the best miso soup I have EVER had. We asked Akemi about its special flavours and she told us she runs an affordable miso course in London. I would definitely like to go on that.


Chris: Ooh, I haven't told you about our main course yet. It was so special. It was sushi but served in a way that I'd never had sushi before. The smoked scallops in particular were intensely good.


Joe: She pays the most incredible attention to detail. It was truly an amazing experience. Just the way her dishes looked was art. I had promised to take lots of photos but, on the night, I was so absorbed by the whole evening that I didn't take many pictures.


Clover: Dessert was a green tea sponge with chestnuts and cream. It was exquisite.


Chris: It was brilliant! Gosh it was so nice!


Clover: We're all foodies and dine out regularly in a variety of restaurants. When we initially looked through the menus on eho chef, we decided we wanted something that would push us and our expectations a bit. We all chose our top five favourites - the most interesting-sounding menus - and emailed them to Chris. So in a sense we voted for the menu. It was a tough decision, and we have many more menus and eho chefs between us to explore and we can't wait to book again.


Chris: I agree. I think eho chef is a fantastic tool for young professionals such as us. And it would be an easy, cost-effective way to cater for a house party, a birthday party, or a surprise party.


Clover: Yes, it's a really easy way to organise a surprise party, as having a private chef cooking for you in your kitchen is easier to keep secret. You don't have to try to co-ordinate covert preparations yourself. And of course you don't have to clean up at the end of your event.


Joe: Akemi was so friendly and came in before the courses to explain each dish, which certainly added to our enjoyment. I preferred the experience to eating out in a restaurant.


Clover: It helps to know that you've paid in advance, so you know what you've spent before you even begin your meal.
Joe: I think we actually spent less doing it this way. Akemi paced the whole evening perfectly - we enjoyed seven courses over three-and-a-half to four hours.


Chris: Yes, when it was all over, Akemi cleaned everything up beautifully and left us to our dessert and whiskeys. It was a very successful, late night and early morning!


THE CHEF:
Akemi Yokoyama


CUISINE:
 Japanese


Akemi teaches Japanese cookery at the Sozai Cooking School in London. Her broad expertise stretches from the art of healthy Japanese home cooking to top quality gastronomic experiences. She trained at the Tsuji School of Culinary Arts in Osaka, Japan.


If you would like to book one of our affordable fine dining experiences please feel free to check out our website: https://ehochef.com, or drop us a call on 0207 183 1628 or an email on foodies@ehochef.com