When you first walk into Osaka, the initial impression is that of a masters class in modern architecture and Feng Shue. Adding to the new elegant atmosphere is the smell of fresh wood and burnt sage, as well as more than a few textured waterfalls. Don’t confuse the concept for merely show, as this level of attention and care carries through to present Osaka as the best Sushi and Nikkei in Santiago.
Osaka used to be based in the hotel W but has recently moved to Hotel Noi in Vitacura. I have to say this was a smart move as the new restaurant is very beautiful.
| The Sushi
Buckle up because your in for a ride. We start out with a couple Ceviches presented almost as Sashimi. Albacore in a citric saké vinegar with black quinoa and red peppers. Another ceviche/sashimi with yellowtail in a minced apple and blood reduction, included is a little pistachio for taste and texture. These are great refreshing ways to start off your Osaka experience.
A selection of nigiri sushi is always a must, especially when its as interesting and experimental as these offerings. White fish sushi with crispy black quinoa and a ceviche sauce. Burnt fatty pork with Pisco salsa and a touch of cinnamon. The “Gyutam” beef tongue nigiri with candy onion and deconstructed egg. All this makes a barrage of flavors that can be as simple or complex as you want, depending on the order.
The “Sake Foie” is a very special maki roll comprised of deliciously marbled salmon surrounding rice, topped with a little teriyaki sauce and of course foie gras. At first these two proteins mix and create a savory fatty flavor unlike any other, then they separate revealing the evocative nature of each component. Believe me it ain’t bull..
| The Dishes
Lets begin with the “Passion Shrimp Tempura.” This is a great dish that delivers texture and just the right balance in sauce. The passion fruit and spicy red pepper envelopes the perfectly crisped shrimp in just the right way. A flavorfull contrast and composition.
The “Kani Kari Crab Cakes” add a nice touch with a lemon ceviche dipping sauce. These fresh and panko crispy crab cakes have just the right crunch to fit the bill.
Other than being the best Sushi and Nikkei in Santiago, Osaka offers a dish that has some surprisingly French qualities, “Gyosas de Foie.” Pumpkin and foie gras dumplings in a truffle oil and beef broth stalk. Their soft nature and permanence in mouth is sublime.
People often say variety is the spice of life and that rhetoric certainly fits with the “Pepo.” This big iron skillet is filled with whole shrimp, tiny clams, octopus, fried fish, basically the whole ocean on a searing bed of rice. Combined with citric and mayo sauces, these intense flavors declare a truly ballsy dish with a mix of Peruvian and Chilean styling.
Last but not least we have the “Chiromi a la Brasa.” A classy fillet of white fish topped with chimichuri, crispy garlic, almonds and red peppers. Fat little Chilean rock shrimp surrounded the fillet in praise of its crispy skin and fresh sweet flavor.
| The Dessert
Osaka has some interesting and new stylings to offer when it comes to dessert. A refreshing plate of house made Mochi ice cream arranged on a slab of wood with green tea, chocolate, and lucuma flavors.
Mochi is all fun and good but what really got my goat was the “Chai Brule.” Pretty self descriptive with creme brule and chi tea, except for the additional coconut ice cream and red berry reductions, I love it.
Osaka offers something new to the table literally. It’s concept can be found in other parts of the world, but where other restaurants try and fail Osaka succeeds. With it’s stylish mix of influence and incredible atmosphere, I name Osaka as the best sushi and nikkei in Santiago. Also try the “Jacks Zen Tea,” its a stupendous cocktail.
Text: Rami Hunter L. Photos: Alejandro Mery *We were invited here
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