Picture the scene: wabi-sabi decor with barely calculated sobriety, four seats at the counter, half a dozen tables and a chalkboard menu announcing the catch of the day. Born in Hiroshima, Takeaki Kato spent nearly 20 years at the chic restaurant Izumi in Antwerp, before opening his impeccable sushi den next to Marnixplein. On the plates, no contortionist platings, just pure, unstoppable technique and products in peak form: lacquered eel or caramelized wagyu served as nigiri; crab maki; hamachi or cuttlefish rolled up as maki… À la carte, there are a few dishes that’ll make you want to come back, from the chirashi to the eel kabayaki – butterflied and grilled on the shichirin grill. Basically, this joint easily pulls an ippon on all the competition. // Sugar Kowalczyk
FEELING THIRSTY? Ichinokura Mukansa sake, a honjozo (with added alcohol) brewed in the Miyagi prefecture (€48 a bottle), sweet yuzu sake (€9 a glass), sencha, genmaicha or hojicha green teas (€4).
PRICE: Sashimi assortments €25-45, nigiri sushi, tempura and maki €24, chirashi €30.
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