He was born in Tokyo, and she is from Antwerp. Koji Yamada and Cathy Carême opened their discreet Japanese tavern in southern Antwerp back in 2006. Lunch is devoted to a bento box of the day, while in the evening we let ourselves be guided by an eclectic moriawase, which Yamada designs in harmony with the seasons. From organic produce to rare sakes, Cathy patiently recites every detail. On the first platter, mackerel onigiri, tofu tamago maki, slow-cooked eggplant with sweet potatoes and potato salad prepared Belgian-style with granny smith apple; then a very fresh toro and sake (tuna and salmon) sashimi and prawn karaage with tonburi (“caviar of the fields”), followed by a cabbage broth to cleanse the taste buds. Before picking up where we left off with a delicate ume haddock with miso sauce and shiso pesto. And for the final pirouette, the plump “Japanese-style” hamburger reveals the playful spirit of the place. // Kiko Zushi
FEELING THIRSTY? A yuzu cocktail (€7), four sake tasters (€22), Otora sake, a junmai okarakuchi from the Chiyokotobuki brewery in the Yamagata prefecture (€9.50 a glass), an organic, first-harvest shimadori kabusecha tea (€4) and craft beer Kuro-Owa, brewed in Belgium (€4.80 for 330 ml).
PRICE: Menus €38 to €52.
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