Food

Land & Sea – Umami and Cocktails

Land & Sea is a new restaurant which serves dishes influenced by the chef’s travels. Flavors are combined without being restricted by tradition. For example, combining traditional Japanese and Italian ingredients. The focus is on taste not conformity to one particular cuisine.

I started out with the Black Yuzu sour. As it hit the table, I could not help admiring the beauty of the presentation.

Then I took a sip and was mesmerized by the flavors. Nothing was overpowering. The texture was luscious from the egg white and the flavors were delicate. Nothing was overpowering yet everything came through in one perfect, harmonious sip. It was probably the second best cocktail I ever had after the Tomatini at LPM Miami. My wife had a dealer’s choice. They served a version of a smoked negroni. Again, the presentation was beautiful with flowers encapsulated into the ice cubes.

The first dish was tasty. It was a shiso wrap. Inside was A5 Wagyu, Hokkaido Uni, and Ikura, all wrapped in Shiso. I know some people will balk at the price of one bite ($15), and the thought crossed my mind too, but its no different than a good piece of quality nigiri. However, they should probably explain more about what it actually is to avoid disappointment.

The next dish was one that is all over the restaurant’s social media and website. Ora king salmon soba. “Flame finished ora king salmon, green tea soba salad, creamy sesame ponzu, yuzu tobiko, ikura”. The salmon was perfectly cooked and delicious. The sesame ponzu packed lots of umami and the fish eggs added a perfect texture. Really good dish.

Next was a deliciously buttery sable fish.

…then Unagi Risotto which would be in the dictionary as the definition of umami. The unagi sauce was so good. My only feedback would be to have the rice more al dente.

Next was the aburi pink scallops. These were not my favorite. The items on the dish did not go well together and the scallops weren’t that great. The chef said he was considering taking these off the menu.

We also had the bolognese which was also a miss. It did not pack the same uniqueness as the other dishes. It tasted like a basic bolognese. It lacked sweetness and depth, was a bit one note of only beefiness.

The final dish was the duck. It was delicious though I would of preferred it more medium rare.

We also ordered two desserts which were nicely presented and just ok.

Overall the service was very good and friendly. As the restaurant is very new, they are probably still working through what works and what does not. As they refine the menu, I think this will only get better and I cannot wait to see what they come up with in the future. There was one thing on the menu that was sold out when we went that I definitely want to go back for – the chili crab. The chef worked a few years at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore and I can definitely see the influence in the dishes; packed with interesting flavors. The dining room does not match the contemporary nature of the food, but that can be a project for a later day. The focus is on food, and there is huge potential. I will definitely be back.

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