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Kyubey Ginza: Ultimate Sushi.

Kyubey (michelin sushi), Chuo, Tokyo, Japan / 24 ноября 2016

Actually, I thought that I knew what’s what in sushi pretty well after literally dwelling in the Tsukiji fish market, but it turned out not quite so.

Rather true in case of classical sushi: good rice, super fish, soy sauce and wasabi.

Here the situation’s absolutely different.

First, even if you take a set you receive one sushi thingy at a time.

Sushi is not just molded: like “bump-bump and there it goes in production” but is endowed with all the necessary components: sauce and wasabi inside, the fish above is rubbed by another 2-4 additives, each time different, and, finally, there are microdrops of lime or yuzu, or garlic shavings grated right there on a dried shark skin.

Fish is incised in a complicated manner. Each time in its own way.

Rice is also heterogeneous – there might be some hot sweet/spicy/salty kernel inside.

There are no chopsticks. Just hands, without dipping it anywhere.

In general, it can’t be put on a stream. It’s impossible to organize delivery. It’s necessary to eat each sushi in 10-15 seconds after it leaves the sushi master’s hands.

Otherwise, the temperature nuances will be lost, and subsequently the taste will change.

The taste itself arrives in layers: playing in the mouth still for a while – up to the moment you kill the last notes with ginger.

Unlike the super quality sushi from the Tsukiji market, where the fattest tuna otoro nevertheless turns into oil, here the fish never loses the texture. There’s always though hardly noticeable, but organic elasticity.

The execution of shrimps is a bit disturbing. They are dissembled on components alive, moreover, afterwards they are served fried with head’s eyes and are supposed to be eaten entirely. Oh well…

Overall, this is a sort of a symphony-like event.

15.000 yens for the biggest lunch set: 16 positions with additives, tea/miso —that’s not expensive.

One problem — you fucking barely get in, even for a lunch.

Hertog Jan: A Perfect Night.

Loppemsestraat 48, 8210 Zedelgem, Belgium / 10 ноября 2016

First thing is to leave Bruges. Past the lines of modern quarters, through the local Beverly Hills. And suddenly you’re in an open field, rustic, without anything.

The house’s located right in the middle of the corn. Behind it, there’s a parking lot with cars just scattered around. Like from Peugeot 307 to Mercedes-AMG GT and Aston Martin DB9, barely accidently.

Then there comes reception, where they get you to go for a walk in their three stars kitchen garden; endless rows of whatever there is in the world from artichokes to nasturtiums are balking into the unrealistically perfectly trimmed lawn. So there you are wandering around with champagne, watching this really suspicious laser cut between the lawn and the garden: it’s so flat and clean that it could be fake; no moles, no dirt clods. It’s more like a full-scale maquette of a garden.

Back in the house there’s a realm of ideal straight geometry and multiple textures that vary from smoked wood to black brick, but in general – almost a void, sort of some gentle post-industrial.


Besides, the guys are arranged everywhere. Seems like they quit modeling and moved here into the village for the permanent residence. During the night, ten of them are to be changed by the table. Neat.

The girls here resemble cargo: endlessly carrying full or empty trays putting them in/ taking them out of the transparent kitchen.

Well, then the food (from 130 to 485 per person per set, three stars, whatever).

The food is worth it.

Just worth it. That’s it.

Absolutely everything is good, needless to emphasize something in particular. Some things are simply good, others are indecently good.

The place definitely deserves a specially planned visit.

We took a six course set — 175eur (and three complements, each is like half of the course), plus wine, aperitifs and water = 559eur for two people. Definitely not for free. But again, it’s worth it.

PS: The only thing’s that when choosing the menu on their site (and it must be chosen when booking), I’d recommend lying that you have an allergy to … black caviar. I mean this is not a place for caviar. They value it way too much, so the dishes with it are really stupid. They’d better be replaced with something more talented.

Belgium: Brugge.

Brugge, Bruges, Бельгия / 10 ноября 2016

Many people turn up their noses at Brugge, calling it touristy, vulgar and vignette.

“What would you do there? Buy chocolate and lace?”

With all due respect: “As your faith is, let it be done to you” (c).

The same thing about Venice: they say water stinks in there. So what? It doesn’t really matter.

Of course, if you’re no more than a tourist brought here by bus to be part of the crowd in the city center during the day, you’ll hardly succeed. It’s like to seeing Tokyo from a bus window while listening to a guide, or trying to find the best restaurant with the help of tripadvisor.


If you remain here for a night or two, preferably – in a fancy hotel, and if you go out for dinner in the evening when there’s no one around, all people staying behind shiny windows or perhaps in the square, you’ll see a completely different picture. Or imagine another picture: it is only 8 a.m. and tourists do not exist, they just haven’t been invented yet, you’re alone in the city, but there’s plenty of life around, boats, the smell of caramel, clapping doors, and the low sun on water.

And yes, it is very tasty here!

Martin Berasategui: Flawless, Absolutely Flawless.

Loidi Kalea, 4, 20160 Lasarte-Oria, Gipuzkoa, Spain / 07 ноября 2016

Simple and unpretentious – probably one of the best dinners I’ve had in the last 41 years!

As we were approaching, I started to feel like something was going «wrong»: it was the highway, the exit from it, and then after about 15 meters a turn to a residential street, which ran along the road. It was 20 kilometers away from the city and there was nothing around.

By nothing I don’t mean the sunset view about 500 meters above sea level on the spectacular hills with some drunk grass and pretty cows, but literally the fucking nothingness.

The house. A huge mansion with views to nowhere and a really austere interior. There were plenty of waiters in black, the number of which by the end of the lunch appeared to have increased to the infinity. Just like the number of officials in a bureaucratic paradise. The only difference here is that these guys are running like clockwork.

Expensive? — Indeed. The main courses on the menu start from 70eur, a set is 220eur.

But … for this money you get 12 perfect dishes.

There is no flirting with the client, small talk, and even no complements: they say 12 and that’s it – so we began with the first one. Next to each dish the year it was created in is written. The oldest was created in 1995.

There are no “fuck off” dishes. There’s not a single failure.

It’s useless to try to describe the food. It is an absolutely symphonic action that rages and bubbles at your taste buds like an echo for another half a day.

I was especially struck by the “deconstructed salad” with a couple of pieces of lobster, the rest is LEAVES, as well there were some sauces, about 20 variations of them in drops and capsules, dissolving in the mouth. There’re also several layers of transparent thin jelly, that’s again kind of sauces, but placed a bit away from the leaves – so as not to flood them, stay a little a side, but still do the job. I have not heard such flavour gradients for a long time.

And never have I heard that from the leaves.

Oh yes, it seems to me that such food should be eaten without wine: wine can be distractive.

So did we.