The Chemistry’s Going On: Sushi Lab Review
Located at The Sanctuary Hotel, Sushi Lab is known for its creative spin on traditional sushi. On a breezy Wednesday evening, my friend and I visited Sushi Lab to taste the signature Omakase from Chef Frankie Chen.
When I arrived at the front door, I was amazed by the majestic look of the boutique hotel. There were stairs covered by red velvet carpet, ivory marble columns, and a door decorated with delicate metallic cravings. Even the service oozed luxury -- I was greeted by a host, who led me to the lounge and brought out a glass of sparkling water. While relaxing on the sofa and waiting for my friend, I looked through the menu. In addition to the signature Omakase, Sushi Lab also served hand rolls, Sashimi, Maki, and other Japanese delights. The menu was designed in the way of a lab manual, and it was absolutely innovative and fun to read.
After being seated and choosing our drinks, we officially joined the “lab” with six other “observers”. Chef Chen was there, dissecting fish fillets with his partner. The first dish to arrive was Chef Chen’s unique creation Toro Tartare. Laid on top of a rich portion of avocado and accompanied by nori crackers, the toro was amazingly appetizing.
Then our drinks came to the table. My friend had the Suntory Whisky that reminded him of the movie Lost in Translation, and I had a fruity cocktail that brought me to the island of Hawaii.
The smoked miso soup was served as an unexpected highlight of the dinner. Chef Chen ignited two pieces of charcoals and covered them with beakers. Separated from oxygen, the fire snuffed out, and the beakers were filled with smoke. Then miso soup was poured into the beakers and delivered to us. Materfully infusing the unique aromatic of charcoal and using beakers as the containers, Chef Chen has turned the miso soup into a performative art and an innovative creation.
As I was having the last bite of the hand roll, I realized that we had come to the end of this omakase experiment. It is always a joyful moment to taste omakase. It is delicious, meticulously prepared, creative, and spontaneous. At Sushi Lab, guests won’t know exactly what’s included in Omakase until they experience it. We trust the chef and arrive with expectations. Omakase is an impeccable cuisine and a great performance art, especially here at Sushi Lab.