Yesterday morning, after a nice, relaxing history exam, I headed back downtown and met my mother for lunch. I love sushi, but, sadly, my mom doesn’t share my fondness for raw fish. Vegetable sushi to the rescue! Some time in the recent past, a vegetable sushi restaurant called Potager opened up in Roppongi Hills.
At Potager, the chefs cleverly craft sushi of seasonal vegetables and rice to resemble their fishy cousins. Delicate, delicious food at an elegant endroit. What could be better?
My mother and I were charmed by the tiny tin hashi-oki, or chopstick rests.
For lunch, you have two options: steamed vegetables and 8 pieces of sushi or 10 pieces of sushi. Naturally, we both went for the latter.
Our sushi were served in two courses. Here is the first.
From left to right: turnip purée with a drop of lemon sauce on white rice, gobo (burdock root) on black rice with ume (pickled plum) sauce, kappa-maki cucumber rolls with pickled cucumber, pumpkin with a sweet balsamic sauce, and, last but certainly not least, brocoli-black olive paste with black and white rice.
The turnip was heavenly, the brocoli-olive number wonderfully full of mixed flavors.
Now, for course two.
From left to right: rich carrot mousse styled to look like uni (sea urchin), eringi mushrooms sautéed with butter to invoke scallops, tomato curry, onion, and tomato with a nib of mozzarella. Beneath the sushi, the plate was sprinkled with a trail of black olive panko.
Apparently, this item is the most popular piece of sushi for Potager’s male customers. I hate to sound masculine, but it was mine too! There are no words, except, maybe sublime.
Women prefer the mushrooms and gobo. They were tasty too, but nothing could stand up to the faux uni!
Although the tomato number bore perhaps the most resemblance to seafood sushi, impeccably imitating tuna, it didn’t pack that flavor punch characteristic of the other pieces.
For dessert, I got beet pudding with blood orange sauce. I couldn’t really taste much beet but that was just fine by me. It was delish!
Mom decided to be a little more daring and went for ‘Tomato Green Shortcake.’ It was an unusual, yet yummy version of shortcake. The base was a combination of mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. That was topped with green shortcake crumbs and shavings of blood orange sorbet. The tomato component was a couple cherry tomato slices that had been marinated in some sort of orange concoction – my least favorite element of the dish. In my opinion, the tomatoes were an unnecessary distraction from the main event.
Before we knew it, it was all gone! When we left the restaurant we got an “itsumo argito gozaimashita” (something said to regulars that roughly translates to thank you for always coming) even though it was only my second time there and my mother’s third. Quel complément!