Shrimp topped with chopped fish liver
First up was the flesh of tiny, tiny shrimp which held together as a single piece, topped with raw fish liver.
Generous pieces of crab leg meat on top of a richly-flavoured mixture of crab bits, all beautifully arranged in a piece of shell. The separate components make for a more interesting dish when combined as one.
Dried baby squid
Baby squid which had been dried and lacquered so as to be chewy and slightly sweet. Sprinkled with sesame seeds. A good interlude because it is so different.
Cold dish of monkfish liver
A beautiful puck of monkfish liver was served cold. A sharp change of focus, which happened quite a bit in this meal.
Spear squid, another seasonal speciality. In this preparation much of the internal organs removed and, just prior to serving the fins and tentacles are removed and tucked inside the pouch. Then it it portioned and shared between two - very fairly with alternating pieces.
Salt-water eel (anago)
Grilled anago (salt-water eel) the last course before the sushi came next. Drenched with impeccably cut chives, grated daikon with a touch of chilli. The hallmark of a great chef is great seasoning. The seasoning was perfect!
Raw toro (tuna belly)
Next came a piece of sweet and light flounder, a very refreshing segue, then Spanish mackerel for some oiliness, then yellowtail topped with the same spicy daikon as used with the anago, then we had three types of tuna. The piece in the photo above is medium fatty toro. Precision cutting gives an extraordinary clarity when you chew.
We were then given a real treat. A piece of the finest Hokkaido uni (sea urchin) was rich, flavoursome and completely delicious.
Tomago to finish
The final moment of 26 different tastes. A very fine piece of tamago. A glorious lunch. With each meal like this we are more in awe and more aware of how limited our knowledge is. It feels like a privilege not just a meal.