Sushisake at Radisson Blu Cebu
Chef Jeff Yalung was torching one of his maki creations by the time I arrived at Sushisake. This is Radisson Blu Cebu’s newest 21-seater Japanese restaurant located at a quiet corner in the lobby (at your immediate left when you enter through the hotel’s main entrance).
I took an empty seat at one end of the single long table where an intricate light piece hovered. From time to time, I peered over the kitchen counter to see what else the chef was preparing. It reminded me of some mouthwatering scenes in David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary that you shouldn’t watch on an empty stomach.
Creative ura makis
Jeff was then making one of the ura makis (rice on the outside, nori on the inside) that my fellow food bloggers and I were to sample that afternoon.
The seared Angus beef earlier and a shrimp tempura comprised the aptly named Surf and Turf Roll. It seemed an uncanny marriage with their contrasting flavors and textures. But for some strange reason, it really worked for me.
The Dynamite Roll was my next favorite. It was an umami bomb of tuna, salmon and creamy crab and tied together by the restaurant’s signature sauce. The ensuing explosion in my mouth was so good that I shamelessly picked up a second piece (and maybe another) afterwards.
These rolls indeed showscase both Sushisake’s creativity and the chef’s expertise. Later into our meal, Jeff would share to us that prior to joining Radisson, he worked as a sushi chef for over a decade in various international hotel chains across the UAE.
Premium sake labels
We of course enjoyed the exquisite rolls with a few shots of sake. We actually sampled 3 different bottles – the Gekkeikan Yamada Nishiki Tokubetsu Junmai, the refreshing Gekkeikan Sparkling and the milky Gekkeikan Nigori.
For me, the well-rounded Yamada best complemented the richness of the makis.
Desserts that almost stole the show
Our lunch capped off with the restaurant’s dessert offerings – Yuzu Tart with Sake Meringue and Green Tea Ice Cream, Sesame Seed Panna Cotta and Coconut Ice Cream and Mochi Ice Cream with Fresh Mango.
The coconut ice cream and especially that sesame seed wafer provided the necessary counterpoint to the otherwise bold flavors of the rolls. I liked that we punctuated the afternoon with these desserts. They almost stole the show with their welcome restraint and subtlety.
Over all, Sushisake presents itself as a worthy alternative to the handful of Japanese restaurants in the city. Here you can be assured that every maki, be it the usual California or the Dynamite, is freshly made to order and with superior local and imported produce as well.
They only open for dinner by the way (or maybe for now?) so I imagine this to be an upscale spot to unwind after a terribly long day or to celebrate a personal milestone.
When you do get to drop by here, pick some exquisite rolls or the more straightforward, albeit deceptively, nigiri sushis. And don’t forget also to order a bottle of premium sake, especially when the occasion demands for one.
Radisson Blu Cebu
Sergio Osmeña Boulevard, 6000, Pope John Paul II Avenue, Cebu City
Opens from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM daily
For inquiries and reservations, call at +63 32 4029900 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure: The blogger would like to thank Radisson Blu Cebu for the gracious invite. Even so, he maintains full editorial control of this restaurant feature.