SUSHI by 12A

Guys, the day is here! There is a brand new sushi joint in town, and I’m here for it!

The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa now boasts an incredible sushi bar, SUSHI by 12A, headed by Chef Sarawut Sukkowplang. Having learnt his craft in some of the best restaurants in the world (including Nobu Cape Town), he now heads his own team at the gorgeous hotel.

His take on sushi is unlike any I’ve ever tired. He describes it as ‘fusion sushi’ – traditional and contemporary in perfect balance. I was lucky enough to attend the press launch of the menu, and I can confirm that all of the dishes are sublime. The highlights for me, though, were the Yellowfin Tuna Tacos and Seared Beef Teriyaki (heavenly!) You can browse the whole menu here.

With food as delicate as sushi, you have to use the best ingredients possible to make an impact, and it certainly shows in the dishes. “Using produce that is both local, as well as sustainable is key to our menu choices at The Twelve Apostles,” says Executive Chef Christo Pretorius, a SASSI ambassador.  “All our fish is sustainably sourced and SASSI /ocean-friendly.  Our Oysters (a twist on the Japanese version) and Sea Trout come from Saldanha Bay and the cold-caught Yellowfin Tuna from the Cape Atlantic area. The freshwater Trout is sourced from Fizantakraal in the Du Toitskloof Mountains.”

Chef Sarawut makes his own unique dashi with kelp foraged from the Atlantic Ocean right below the hotel. Every seaweed has its own flavour and character profile that makes it unique and once dried, it releases nutrients and intensifies in flavour (Kombu). Dashi is the base for many of Chef’s sauces and glazes, and has to be tasted to be believed.

They shared some sushi etiquette with us on the day, too. I’m still undecided if they were appalled by how we ate sushi, or if they just wanted to share some fun facts… 🙂 I was apparently a sushi heathen, but have adjusted my ways (in company, anyway).

Here are the ‘rules’ should you wish to know and not look like an uncouth philistine next time you arm yourself with chopsticks. Sushi By 12A Etiquette Page

DO NOT put wasabi directly into your soy sauce – the sushi chef has already placed the proper amount of wasabi for the fish in the nigiri.

 DO dip your nigiri into soy sauce fish-side down – otherwise, the rice may fall apart.

DO enjoy the pickled ginger as a palate cleanser – eat it between different kinds of nigiri.

Don’t eat the ginger in the same bite as the nigiri – just don’t.

DON’T rub your chopsticks together – It’s considered an insult, suggesting the quality of the chopsticks is poor. DO ask for a new pair of chopsticks if you see a splinter in the wood.

Placing your chopsticks across your bowl during a meal tells the chef (and everyone around you) that you no longer want your dish. If you haven’t finished eating, then this can be rude. It’s also good manners to keep your chopsticks straight instead of having them cross while they’re resting.

DON’T douse the sushi in soy sauce. It overpowers the flavor of the fish. Make sure you are just dipping, rather than soaking the fish. Also, people often make the mistake of adding too much wasabi to their soy sauce and it becomes a paste. To avoid this, put a little wasabi directly on the sushi, then dipping it in the soy sauce

DO eat with your fingers. Chopsticks are okay, but you have to be careful with how you use them. You’re not going to appreciate the temperature or the texture if you don’t use your hands.

SUSHI by 12A is now being served daily in the Café Grill restaurant from 12h00 to 21h00. If you treat yourself to one new thing this month, make sure it’s this!

For more info or to make a booking (do it!), contact restaurants@12apostles.co.za

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