[Shanghai] Ginza Onodera 鮨 銀座おのでら

Ginza Onodera 鮨 銀座おのでら

Add: 3/F Bund 18, 18 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai 中山东一路18号,外滩18号3楼
Tel: +86 (21) 6333 9818
Website: onodera-group.com/en/
Hours: [lunch] Fri-Sun 11:30am-2:00pm; [dinner] Tue-Sun 5:30pm-9:30pm
Price: [lunch omakase] RMB388-1,188; [dinner omakase] RMB1,680-1,980 (+10% service charge)
Visited: August 2016
Will return: Yes

Take a quick look through my blog and you’ll surely notice that I gravitate more towards western cuisine. However, in preparation for my upcoming trip to Tokyo, I have decided that some proper induction to Japanese cuisine is in order, and a friend recommended Ginza Onodera as a good starting point for sushi.

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Onodera offers three sushi omakase menus for lunch, priced at 388, 588 and 988, that differ in both the number of sushi and the fish used. I went with the one in the middle, which consists of 13 pieces of sushi (including tamago), as well as an appetizer, soup, and dessert. If you want a more complete experience, there is also a 1,188 menu that offers more cooked dishes.

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Starting with a cup of Chawanmushi. The delicate and silky egg custard was full of umami, topped with sweet Bafun Uni from Hokkaido.IMG_5836 copyIMG_5837 copy

One of Onodera sushi’s most distinctive features is that they season their rice exclusively with red vinegar, which has a stronger taste than white vinegar. As I understand it, most sushiyas only use red shari for tuna and fishes with stronger flavor, but I found that the red shari worked well for me with most of the fishes I had that day.

1. Shima-aji 縞鯵 (white trevally)
The first piece was a shima-aji brightened by a little lime juice. I was impressed by the way the lighter acidity from the lime played with the stronger acidity from the red vinegar. A promising start for sure.IMG_5848-Edit

2. Kinmedai 金目鯛 (golden eye snapper)
Very deep in flavor, but a bit too salty for me.IMG_5850-Edit

3. Yari-ika 槍烏賊 (spear squid)
The squid was seasoned with lime juice and ginger. I liked the clean flavors and the interesting contrast it made with the slightly gelatinous texture, but this was the only time in the meal where I found the shari a bit too strong and overpowering for the fish.IMG_5854-Edit

4. Mirugai 海松貝 (geoduck clam)
The mirugai had a strikingly different texture from the squid before it. Where the squid was tender and gelatinous, the mirugai was clean and crunchy, and the flavors were much more balanced.IMG_5856-Edit

5. Suzuki 鱸 (Japanese sea bass)
One of my favorite pieces of the meal, the suzuki had a delicate and subtle sweetness laced with a hint of ginger.IMG_5862-Edit

6. Katsuo 鰹 (skipjack tuna)
The chef added some chives when making the shari for the katsuo, giving it a refreshing fragrance.IMG_5872-Edit

7. Otoro 大トロ (fatty tuna)
The otoro was, of course, meltingly fatty, and the red shari did a wonderful job of cutting through the richness.IMG_5879-Edit

8. Sake 鮭 (salmon)
The salmon from Chile had been marinated, so that it was not as rich as usual, but had much more flavor and umami.IMG_5882-Edit

9. Aji 鯵 (Japanese horse mackerel)
After the richness of the salmon, the aji felt a bit too delicate.IMG_5885-Edit

10. Akami 鮪赤身漬け (marinated lean tuna)
The akami was already being marinated on the counter when I arrived, giving it an incredibly deep flavor that lingered on and on. Another favorite.IMG_5894-Edit

11. Kohada with Kombu 小鰭 (gizzard shad)
The kohada was very bold and strong, but the white kombu brought a subtle sweetness that balanced the sharpness of the fish.IMG_5904-Edit

12. Hokkaido Bafun Uni 北海道馬糞雲丹 (sea urchin)
More uni from Hokkaido. What’s not to like?IMG_5909-Edit

13. Tamago 焼き玉子 (grilled omelet)
Wrapping it up with some light and spongy tamago.IMG_5911-Edit

We were offered a choice between miso soup and seafood soup, and I chose the latter. The Seafood Soup was a clear but umami-full broth, with a ball of squid and prawns in the middle.IMG_5918-Edit copy

For dessert, a refreshing and summery Fruit Jelly made with peach, apple, and liquor, served with fresh fruits. Chef Sakagami designed this dessert as a summer special on his last visit to Shanghai.IMG_5924-Edit copy

Apart from sushi, Onodera also offers tempura and teppanyaki. I ordered a few pieces of tempura from the à-la-carte menu. The Uni Tempura (300) was sweet and creamy, with a fragrant and refreshing undertone of shiso, but I would have liked the uni a bit less cooked. The Maitake Mushroom Tempura (60) on the other hand was a little greasy.IMG_5876-Edit copyIMG_5874-Edit copy

Overall, Ginza Onodera’s lunch menu offered a nice introduction to sushi. I look forward to trying their dinner omakase soon.IMG_5843 copy

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