It has been over a year since I had eaten proper sushi. No not those on the carousel or those that is served by the thousands. But instead, a sushi place where the every detail is looked into. The seaweed treated, fish handpicked and flavours carefully composed. Do not misunderstand me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with bulk sushi (which I often eat) but there are times when you are looking for something that is extra special. Naturally, when I heard that there was a place in town that specialises in sushi, I was super keen. The restaurant is Morikawa and it is the most popular sushi place in the Hague and in a country like the Netherlands where the herring is eaten raw daily, I expected nothing less than the amazing.
Coming in, my colleagues and I were seated by the bar and ordered the sushi set meal. The meal was a “trust the chef” or Omakase sushi meal that consists of 10 Nigiri Sushi, 2 types of Maki and a Tamago. The reason why I chose to sit at the bar counter was so that the I can be served each sushi individually and the chef could explain each dish.
Sadly, this was not the case. The chef made 3 plates of Nigiri and gave it to us.
A bit of a disappointment to not be served the sushi individually I have to say. But if the sushi served to us was of great quality, then nothing else matters. My verdict on the 10 Nigiri Sushi: It was decent, and over all OK. The plate had a 50-50 mix of raw and “cooked” sushi. The Tuna was really nice along with the Snapper topped with marinated ginger. The prawns were mediocre at best and the Aburi Scallop Nigiri tasted repetitive as it was topped with a similar tasting topping. The Tobiko Nigiri was a little boring honestly! While I had no big favourites on the platter, the aburi salmon was good though I felt like I had tasted better at chain restaurant! Last but not least, I was totally let down by the lack of attention to detail especially with the poached crab sushi that felt so un-cared and unloved when compared to my meal at Sushi Azabu last year! See this for comparison and tell me!
The second platter looked very attractive. But did it taste as good as it looked? I wonder!
Actually it was again another serve of OK sushi. I do not think that anything on the plate particularly wow-ed the table. The tuna roll tasted a little blend while the rolled covered in a colourful leaf carried a small piece of fish that was extremely potent in fishy flavours. I think the table was quite appalled by that roll haha. Last but not least, the Tamago was good and provided the most salvation for this plate of rolled sushi!
Morikawa was not a cheap affair but neither did produce a mind boggling bill. However, the lack of sociability from entrance to seating to eating to finishing the meal made this an underwhelming sushi experience. Then comes the part where I asked the chef whether there was an order which I should approach the sushi from and he said no. He said "All the same just start where you would like to,". That literally threw me off. There is always a logic or intention in cooking. At Morikawa there was none. Was he for real? Well, he walked off after serving us so I guess he was serious. Morikawa has just came out of a long 2 week hibernation during my visit. Perhaps it was a case of lost touch of some sort but I could in no way pair the level of respect present in the general public against the food I was served today.