Seattle, WA 98121
Shiro’s offers high quality sushi made with exquisite care.
If you have seen the documentary, Jiro Loves Sushi. Shiro was one of Jiro’s apprentices. Daisuke Nakazawa, also a Jiro apprentice works here as well.
The sushi is outstanding
Some hits are the sushimi dinner, omakase(chefs choice)
My favorites are the fatty tuna, black cod, yellowtail and salmon. My wife doesn’t do raw fish, but she love the shrimp and veggie tempura as well as the Nameko Miso .
Expect to spend at least 50 per person or more if you buy alcohol. It is a dinner you may well remember forever
CHOICE TABLES; In Seattle, the Ingredients Shine
By MELISSA A. TRAINER
Seattle’s sushi lovers beat a path to Shiro’s Sushi Bar and Restaurant. Shiro Kashiba, the chef and owner, buys only the freshest seafood and presents it artfully to his dedicated clientele.
The modest-sized spot in Belltown can fill up quickly. We arrived at 5:30 one Monday evening and were lucky enough to snag the last two seats at the sushi bar. Although we would have been served just as graciously at one of the restaurant’s 17 tables, the sushi bar is the place to sit at Shiro’s.
After ordering a round of Sapporo beer, we admired the glistening local albacore tuna, smelt and live geoducks in the case before us while Mr. Kashiba joked with everyone at the counter and thoroughly answered questions. He also speculated on when the eagerly awaited matsutake, an exorbitantly expensive and coveted wild mushroom found in forests of both the Pacific Northwest and Japan, would be arriving. (It is in now and will probably be available until mid-October.)
Feeling welcome and relaxed, we started with smelt umeshiso age. Local smelt was laid out, spread with sour plum sauce and topped with a shiso leaf before being rolled up, deep fried and sliced. It was spectacular and so good we ordered another round. Soon there was a run on smelt and Mr. Kashiba, to his dismay, was sold out for the night.
We then ordered sunomono, a traditional marinated seafood salad. The artfully arranged salad of steamed soft clams, octopus and shrimp with pickled cucumbers and seaweed salad appealed to the eye as much as the palate. The still-moving geoducks were next; when sauteed with quartered mushrooms they were tender, buttery and sweet.
Unable to resist the soft-shell crabs, we asked for a spider roll. A piece of nori was laid out and spread with rice, flying fish roe, cucumber and radish sprouts; then the deep-fried crab was arranged with its claws hanging off either end. When rolled up, sliced, and served with claws in the air, the presentation resembled a tarantula.
Before we called it quits, our congenial sushi-bar neighbors told us to order the sour plum hand roll. We heeded their advice, and were happy we did. Sour, salty, and sweet, the roll — which had sour plum sauce, shiso leaves, rice and vegetables wrapped in seaweed — was delightfully digestible and satisfying. With that and a cup of green tea, we were set.
Seattle Dining Reaching a Peak
By Jerry Shriver
A Sample of Cutting-Edge Options
To get a sense of what it must have been like to watch Picasso at work, grab a seat at the sushi bar at Shiro’s and watch chef / owner Shiro Kashiba deftly crack a raw quail egg and deposit the dime-size yolk in the middle of a pile of translucent orange flying fish roe that has been wrapped in dried seaweed. Many of Seattle’s top chefs and dealmakers come to this Belltown eatery at lunchtime for quiet spectacles such as this, and Kashiba has been obliging them for 30 years.
He practices his art on the region’s highest-quality seafood, according to his peers. Even sushi veterans will be knocked out by the $14.50 chirashi lunch, consisting of seven pieces of sashimi or vegetables, each a different color, served in a bowl filled with rice and seaweed and pickled ginger silvers. Accompany it with one of the nine sake offerings and you may well linger until dinner, when a wider array of Japanese specialties are served.
Dining guide: Suddenly, there’s a world of classy cuisine out there
by Nancy Leson
Seattle Times restaurant critic
MY GREAT AFFECTION for Japanese food traces not to my first encounter with it (a Sweet Sixteen party at Benihana of Tokyo), but to a meal in San Francisco’s Japantown 20 years ago. It was here that I was introduced to maguro. The fish arrived, to my great shock, glistening, beautiful – and raw. As instructed, I dipped a slice of the deep-red tuna into soy sauce spiked with wasabi, put it to my mouth, and promptly became a raw-fish-eating convert.
Back then, if you wanted sushi in these parts you didn’t buy it at a sushi bar at the QFC in University Village or at the Food Emporium in Mukilteo. You certainly didn’t eat it at an all-you-can-eat sushi joint in Bellevue.
You paid a visit to Shiro Kashiba. One of Seattle’s first sushi chefs, Shiro became a local legend when he opened the original Nikko on the outskirts of the I.D. After nearly 20 years he sold his restaurant’s name (and, briefly, his professional services) to the folks who put Nikko in the Westin hotel. Luckily for us, the master can still be found serving what connoisseurs consider the best sushi in the city at Shiro’s in Belltown.
Here, his fans know to show up when the doors open to secure a seat at the sushi bar. And it is here, when the prized matsutake mushroom makes its autumn appearance, that I come not only for sushi but also for dobin mushi. This seasonal specialty, served in a “dobin” (a ceramic vessel that resembles a teapot) offers a simple broth powerfully perfumed with the earthy, exorbitantly expensive matsutake. Clear, clean, beautiful flavors explain the appeal. If you could distill serenity, it would taste like dobin mushi.
The Best Japanese
Monday, April 27, 1998
By Michael Martin
Market reforms may be causing indigestion in Tokyo–but there’s no need to go hungry closer to home. Sushi, soba, noodles, or yakisoba (meat and poultry marinated and grilled on skewers) from any of these eateries will appeal to the “salary-man” in all of us.
- Boston – Ginza: 16 Hudson St.
- Chicago – Kuni’s: 511 Main St.
- Los Angels – Katsu: 1972 N. Hillhurst Ave.
- New York – Sushisay: 38 E. 51st St.
- San Francisco – Kabuto Sushi: 5116 Geary Blvd.
- Seattle – Shiro’s: 2401 Second Ave.
- Washington D.C. – Makoto: 4822 MacArthur Blvd., N.W.
Shiro Kashiba -SUSHI CHEF EXTRAORDINAIRE
Wednesday, June 5, 1996
Most little boys don’t dream of working with vinegared rice and raw fish…even in Japan. But Shiro Kashiba still gets wide-eyed when he describes his early trips to sushi restaurants, where he watched master chefs spin edible art from the most basic ingredients.
He would have quit school to work under one of his heroes. His father, a principal, demanded he finish high school first.
At 18, Kashiba left home for Yoshino restaurant in Tokyo, one of the country’s most revered sushi purveyors, where patrons routinely dropped $10 a person on elegant finger food – this, nearly four decades ago.
Six days a week for as many years, Kashiba absorbed the business, honing his knife skills and living his mantra. As he rose each morning at 6 to seek out the best fish in the market, the words of his kitchen teachers served as his guide: “Shopping is the most important.”
But Kashiba longed to work in the United States. Letters were sent to restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
Seattle responded, and in 1966 he introduced a new audience to his specialty.
Kashiba finally branched out with Nikko, a place of his own where he settled for two decades, until he decided to take a “vacation.”
That break lasted 2 1/2 years, leaving regulars crying in their sake cups. Last summer, Kashiba returned to the work of his life, launching Shiro’s (2401 Second Ave.) The P-I caught up with him there last week.
Some of “the best sushi in Seattle” is sliced up at this Belltown Japanese eatery where chef-owner Shiro Kashiba (“a true master”) works “inventive” spins on “succulent”, pristinely “fresh” fish, “setting the bar that others aspire to”…
Friday, January 28, 2000
A sushi chef doesn’t do much braising, broiling, frying or sautéing, doesn’t whip up a lot of fancy sauces and doesn’t usually fuse a global array of techniques and flavors on the plate.
So, given a certain basic level of skill with a sharp knife, it might seem difficult to distinguish one sushi chef from another.
But experience an oyster served up by Shiro Kashiba, and the mystery will start to clear up. Yes, the oyster is raw, gleaming freshly on the half shell. The garnishing is understated: A sprinkle of grated daikon, a hint of chili, a dash of soy-citrus ponzu sauce, a bit of chopped scallion. The total effect, though, is astonishing, a thrilling, vivid intensification of the very essence of oysterness.
Kashiba’s seafood salad sheds more light on the matter. It combines a bracing slice of raw salmon and succulent octopus with shards of cool cooked crab fairly bursting with sea-savor, set off by pungent threads of seaweed and super-crisp cucumber dusted with sesame seed, all moistened by a light-handed ponzu dressing. It puts every assemblage of baby shrimp and lettuce to shame.
If you grab one of the dozen seats at the sushi bar near Kashiba’s station (he’s the one with the exclamation-point eyebrows), he might share some of his secrets – as when he shaves wasabi fresh from a gnarled root (it’s subtler than the usual powdered mix) to accent a seaweed-wrapped nigirizushi bundle pairing perfect rice with amazingly lush raw albacore, or bracing big-eye tuna.
Kashiba’s prominence among local sushi chefs is no news to Seattle’s most dedicated raw-fish-o-philes. They fell in love with him at Nikko, the little sushi bar he opened on South King Street 30 years ago. They pursued him to the swanky reincarnation of Nikko that the Westin Hotel unveiled in 1992. They pined when the left the Westin for a 2 1/2-year professional hiatus, then rejoiced when he opened Shiro’s Sushi in 1995.
Kashiba brings a lot to the table -or bar. As a child in Japan, he dreamed of sushi stardom. Right after graduating from high school, he landed a job in one of Tokyo’s most celebrated sushi restaurants. Trained by the masters, he came to Seattle in 1966, lured by the challenge of America. After working for a few years in local Japanese restaurants, he started Nikko in 1972.
But Kashiba doesn’t point to technical expertise as the key to sushi success. While any great chef must be a great shopper, that’s especially true when the food is served raw, and often little adorned. So Kashiba prowls the city’s seafood markets daily, searching for the finest fish and shellfish – some of it fresh, some of it imported frozen from Japan, and some bought fresh and then frozen by Kashiba to kill any parasites. And he pays careful attention to the making of his sushi rice, a vinegar-, salt- and sugar-laced component he says is just as important as what’s on top of it.
Sushi, though, doesn’t exhaust the menu at Shiro’s, nor does it account for all its excellence. A nutty sesame-mustard dressing coats little segments of asparagus in an intriguing starter salad. A light, crunchy, white-flour batter jackets deftly fried oysters in another entry on the appetizer menu.
For Kasuzuke, Kashiba fillets Alaskan black cod, salts it, washes it with sake, marinates it overnight in miso and sake and broils it. The result is luscious and buttery but not too unctuous, still firm and altogether wonderful. And should a seafood-avese diner wind up at Shiro’s the chicken teriyaki is both admirably restrained and satisfying.
It’s the simle elegance of the food that commands attention at Shiro’s, not the décor. The standard-issue sushi bar stretches along the back of the smallish main dining room, a brightly lit space crowded with white-clothed tables and chairs. The inside walls are pretty plain; the outside ones are mostly glass, along Second Avenue and Battery Street. A separate dining nook lies on the far side of the entryway.
Shiro’s draws a mix of ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic types, from Belltown hipsters to sushi-savvy businesspeople traveling through town. The feel is casual, the mood upbeat. Service is friendly, though the timing of courses can be a little haphazard.
Desserts are insignificant, on the order of green-tea ice cream. Wine, also, gets pretty short shrift, with the choices limited to a few serviceable California and Northwest offerings. Beer is a more popular match for sushi, and Shiro’s stocks the usual Japanese imports.
There are cocktails, too, but the blue-chip beverages are sakes, with more than 10 choices. The ritziest goes for $100 a bottle – just the thing for toasting the genius of the chef.
Seattle’s Sake-Marinated Fish
June 26, 1988
Susan Herrmann Loomis
The Japanese influence in the United States is much talked about these days. That influence has always existed in Seattle, which sometimes seems to have one foot across the Pacific in Japan…
…Where one really senses the f…usion of Japanese culture with Seattle’s personality is in several of the city’s major restaurants. Here, rather unusual Japanese, or Japanese-inspired, dishes have become regular features on otherwise Northwest menus. One dish in particular has been adopted by the Cit’s young chefs. It is sake kasu black cod, and restaurants that serve it can hardly keep up with the demand…
…When grilled, the way most restaurants serve kasu cod, the firm fish is slightly crisp on the outside. When a fork cuts into it -no knife is ever needed – it oozes an intriguing, exotic flavor that is a marriage of the sweet kasu and the inherently deep flavor of the black cod. The sweetness isn’t sugary, but more subtle. It cuts the fat of the black cod, and heightens its elusive sea flavor.
While the Yoshimura’s pioneered the selling of uncooked kasu fish, Shiro Kashiba, the owner of Nikko, Seattl’s premiere Japanese restaurant, claims to be the first to put it on…