Right after I booked our flights to Seattle, I made a reservation at Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant. Owner and chef Shiro Kashiba is a two-time James Beard-nominated sushi master who studied under the renowned Jiro Ono of Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Needless to say, we couldn’t wait to eat at his namesake establishment.
True to the vision captured in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the restaurant isn’t precious or pretentious. The chopsticks were of the disposable wooden variety, the tablecloths switched out between diners (revealing a plain table underneath), and the clientele in casual wear. It was clear that the energy of the restaurant had been channeled directly into providing top-notch service and food — nothing more, nothing less.
Jay and I knew exactly what we wanted: Shiro’s omakase dinner, the chef-curated prix-fixe menu, accompanied by a beer (for Jay) and hot sake (for me). I’m sure I’ll misrepresent some of the names and ingredients of our plates, but rest assured that each part of the meal was flawlessly executed.
We began with a trio of amuse-bouches:
Salmon, dashi broth.
Spinach, mushroom, bonito flakes.
We were then served a sashimi appetizer with salmon and two types of tuna. The whiter tuna absolutely melted in our mouths.
Our entree plate soon followed, including:
Tempura shrimp and potato.
We were then served a sushi plate. Clockwise: tuna, tuna, sweet shrimp, tuna maki, roe, mackerel, and fried shrimp head.
We then had a final savory course: clam miso soup.
The meal was concluded with a familiar, but wonderfully-executed, Japanese dessert: red bean ice cream, tempura-fried and served with whipped cream and slices of orange.
Everything about Shiro’s was lovely. The food was incredibly fresh, simple, pleasing; the service was almost unbelievably kind and attentive. What’s more, the ambiance and bill were both very comfortable; this wasn’t a fine-dining establishment trying to drain your wallet, but a quality one committed to the service of food.
The very best part of the experience, however, was doubtlessly seeing Shiro himself in action. Jay and I couldn’t resist staring, enraptured, at Shiro behind the sushi bar — kinda like so:
Though older, the chef had a springy, playful vitality and sense of strength and deftness about him. At one point, he even pulled out a few live prawns and showcased them on the bar. When one or two flipped off the counter, like spring-loaded wind-up toys, Shiro didn’t bat an eye — just grabbed them gently, while they were mid-air, and placed them back in line. We were watching a man truly in his element.
Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant
2401 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121