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I Love Sushi on the Lake Bellevue

As the seasons change, we inevitably turn our thoughts to tasty autumn dishes. Fatty mackerel, crisp tempura, mouthwatering steak and much much more are featured in this autumn roundup of some of our favorite restaurants.

Interviews and articles by Misa Murohashi, Noriko Hantsinger, Ai Isono, Harmony Kelly, Azusa Ueda and Sumiya Kurihara. Translation by Bruce Rutledge


I Love Sushi on the Lake Bellevue

~Tastes of seasonal authentic Kaiseki in Bellevue~

Until October 31, tell the restaurant you saw this article in the Post, and you’ll get a free small serving of vanilla, azuki or matcha ice cream

If you want to experience authentic Japanese Kaiseki, try “I Love Aki Gozen” at I Love Sushi on Lake Bellevue. Kitchen Chef Fumio Shimojima and Sushi Chef Jun Takai have collaborated on the limited seasonal lunch set filled with the favorite tastes of autumn in Japan. The lunch set includes small appetizer dishes, sushi, tempura and soba noodle soup. It’s the sort of menu you’d see at an old establishment in Japan with top-notch chefs.

I Love Aki Gozen $25 
This lunch menu is available only through November. These kaiseki dishes are made with skill and obsession, satisfying both your stomach and your soul. The peak season for ikura is September-October, which is right now! The ikura is filled with hot umami these days

The small appetizer dishes Chef Shimojima has painstakingly prepared include Dutch-Style Simmered Autumn Eggplant, Simmered Sato Imo (Japanese Taro) & Scallops, Simmered Pacific Saury & Ginger, and Simmered Satsuma Imo Toganooni. “They all take time and attention to make,” the chef says with confidence. The Dutch-style eggplant dish originated in Nagasaki, a city whose harbor was used by colonial Dutch traders. It has a refined taste that just can’t be duplicated at home. Moist Pacific saury is simmered for 10 hours, and even bones are soft. The Toganooni dish, originated in the Kozan temple in Kyoto’s Toganoo area, has delicate sweetness of the Satsuma potato and the freshness of lemon. The dishes are so colorful, it almost seems a shame to eat them. The seasonal tempura featuring eringi and maitake mushrooms and sockeye salmon is surprisingly crunchy and delicious. Sushi items include Oshi sushi (pressed sushi) with fatty mackerel from Hachinohe Japan, and small rice bowls with king salmon, uni and ikura. “This is the season for ikura,” says Chef Takai. “Through the end of the year they are at their most delicious.”

 

Chef Takai (right) has more than 20 years of experience as a sushi chef and joined I Love Sushi last year after working at Shiro’s for five years. Chef Shimojima (left) has lots of experience in established restaurants in Japan

Chef Shimojima and Chef Takai also offer an Omakase course full of seasonal offerings ($75+ per person). Omakase course needs to be reserved at least three days ahead of time to allow time for preparation. Whenever possible, the restaurant has in stock autumn seafood favorites such as mackerel, sardines, Pacific saury and the cutlass fish. You can enjoy a leisurely kaiseki meal at the table, or sit at the counter and watch the seasonal fish get prepared right before your eyes. Let yourself luxuriate a little this autumn.

 

I Love Sushi on the Lake Bellevue
23 Lake Bellevue Dr., Bellevue | (425) 455-9090 |http://ilovesushi.com