SUSHI SHIN NISEKO

Sushi Shin Kinmedai appetizer in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Kinmedai Appetizer                                                                                      Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

Arriving in Niseko today one can sense the growing optimism as a new wave of developments attracts a rich array of talents from across the cultural spectrum.  One of the most exciting new projects arrived early 2017 – Sushi Shin Niseko (鮨 心) landed in Annupuri village, just up the street from Sobatei Rakuichi.  It brings with it the promise of a higher level of sushi experience than Niseko has ever experienced before.

Sushi Shin Chef Plating a Kinmedai Appetizer in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Chef Plating a Kinmedai Appetizer                                                                     Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

Prior to Sushi Shin’s opening in 2017, there was simply no expectation of enjoying outstanding sushi in Niseko.  Exceptional ingredients could be sourced with the right connections however the talent to finesse those ingredients into great sushi was yet to arrive.  Remote locations present a unique set of challenges for high quality restaurants and it takes both logistical smarts and ambition to overcome them. Sushi Shin Niseko has assembled a talented team already experienced with sourcing the finest produce in Hokkaido and beyond.  Combining this expertise with technical skill and discipline honed under the tutelage of master sushi Chef Miyakawa, Niseko at last has the recipe for precisely the sushi travelers had dreamed they might one day experience here.

Sushi Shin Chef Masaki Miyakawa in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Chef Masaki Miyakawa                                                                                      Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

FOUNDER CHEF MIYAKAWA

The foundation for Sushi Shin is Chef Miyakawa who over decades accumulated a remarkable depth of experience that included a lengthy stint as executive head chef of Hong Kong’s most celebrated edo-mae sushi restaurant Sushi Shikon.  He now has his own celebrated restaurant in Sapporo where Chef Miyakawa is known for his approachable sushi with a strong focus on showcasing an ingredient’s purity of flavors. The eponymous Sushi Miyakawa was one of the first of several high-end restaurants to locate in Maruyama, Sapporo.  Inside, Sushi Miyakawa offers a refined atmosphere in a subtle room anchored by an L-shaped counter constructed from single plank hinoki (Japanese cypress).  The atmosphere at Sushi Shin echoes this beautifully minimalist aesthetic that encourages patrons to focus their full attention on the theatre of sushi being conducted from the hands of Miyakwa protegé, Chef Hitonori Satake.

Sushi Shin Chef in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Chef                                                                                                                   Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

HEAD CHEF SATAKE

Born and raised in Wakayama, a prefecture known for its rich farmland blessed by the warmth of the sun, Chef Satake’s mother was a chef and so cooking was taken up early in his life.  After graduating from high school an uncle recommended he work for at a local sushi restaurant.  The professionalism of the restaurant staff made a positive impression and he took up his first apprenticeship position.  During the first few years of an apprenticeship basic jobs like washing and cleaning are all one is allowed to do as patience and discipline are developed.   Those who survive the early test eventually take on ever greater responsibilities as they simultaneously develop their skill set.  In Japanese cooking knife skills are of great importance and no where is that more true than in a sushi restaurant.  The craft of sushi takes a decade or more of diligent practice to evolve skills to the point in which the intrinsic character of ingredients can be expressed freely.  For 30 years Chef Satake has committed himself to mastering the craft of sushi and now, as head chef of Sushi Shin, he commands a sushi restaurant at the perfect moment in his career.

Sushi Shin Unagi Zushi in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Unagi Zushi                                                                                                       PPhotographer: Aaron Jamieson

EDOMAE SUSHI

At Sushi Shin, Chef Satake and his team offer tradtional Edo Mae Sushi using Hokkaido’s exquisite seasonal ingredients. For those not familiar with the style of Edomae-zushi, it was developed in the late Edo period around Tokyo Bay, a place well-known for its abundance of fisheries.  Drawing together the quality ingredients of soy sauce produced in neighboring towns, rice of local farms and fresh fish from the sea – Edomae-zushi became popular first in Edo (Tokyo) and later spread to Kyoto and the greater Kansai area (Osaka + Kobe).

Sushi Shin’s overall style showcases the best of Edomae sushi whilst intricately weaving into the menu ingredients native to Hokkaido.  The emphasis on tsumami small plates allows the chef’s skills to shape the ingredients into a focused expression that offers peak umami, the maximum flavors.  As the meal progresses, a story of Hokkaido – via the food ingredients harvested from it shores, farmland and forests – is told through a thoughtfully composed menu that leaves diners with a vivid sense of time and place.

Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Appetizer in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Appetizer                                                                                     Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

OMAKASE COURSE

A brief glance at the menu and the experienced sushi connoisseur will know they are in for a memorable dining experience.  Each course utilizes a cooking technique tailor-made to heighten the taste and texture of the key ingredient.  Being made aware of the ingredient’s place of origin adds to the depth of the dining experience while enriching one’s sense of place.  The meal begins with a familiar treasure unearthed from the soil of one of Hokkaido’s many great farm fields.  Potatoes grown in the nearby town of Rusutu and paired with scallops and caviar starts the gastronomic journey locally.

In winter, richer tasting fish like saba (mackerel) is straw smoked and served with horseradish, ginger and green onion.   Kinmedai (golden eye snapper) skin is kissed by red-hot bincho charcoal, its fresh and charred flavors melded together by ponzu sauce.  Awabi (abalone) is one to look forward to as its flesh and liver are prepared separately and then brought together in one of Sushi Shin’s definitive dishes that needs to be tasted to fully appreciate its beauty.  Snow crab is another dish that one feels a need to eat when in Hokkaido and here it is paired with a delicate sudachi jelly that seems to bring out the sweetness in the crab’s plump, juicy flesh.

 

Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Appetizer in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Appetizer                                                                                       Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

The deftness in which Chef Satake forms the sushi shari – the oval rice that sits beneath each slice of fish or shellfish – is further enhanced by the precise steaming and temperature control of the rice.  Rice is seasoned perfectly, with just a hint of vinegar that lifts the raw fish flavors ever so slightly.

 

Sushi Shin Ebi & Uni Appetizer in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Ebi & Uni Appetizer                                                                                                Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

INGREDIENT SOURCING

Sushi Shin sources the best ingredients from the best locations wherever they may be within Japan at that particular moment in the season.  Hokkaido ingredients are thoughtfully incorporated together with them whenever the pairing and quality matches well.  An interesting case that highlights this point is with tuna caught off the north coast of Aomori and just below Hokkaido.  Although tuna is caught close by, all the best maguro tuna is sent to Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and this is where Sushi Shin procures its tuna as well as anago (sea eel).

Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Sashimi with Wasabi & salt in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Sashimi with Wasabi & Sea Salt                                                        Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

Other fish markets utilized include Sapporo, Shimane (Sushi Shin’s signature Awabi or abalone) and Shizuoka.  Hokkaido ingredients making their way onto the menu include potatoes, lily bulb, wakame, scallops and incredible sea urchin (uni).  Perhaps the best uni in the world is sourced in Hokkaido with the far north island of Rishiri in the Sea of Japan considered the most fertile waters for uni and kombu – a key ingredient in Japanese cooking.

Sushi Shin Awabi with Kimo in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle MagazineSushi Shin Awabi with Kimo in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Awabi with a Kimo (liver) sauce                                                                             Photographer: Aaron Jamieson
Sushi Shin Sake Menu in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Sake Menu                                                                                                           Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

MENU

Sushi Shin offers two course menus: Omakase (Chef’s selection) course consisting of seasonal appetizers, nigiri sushi, soup and dessert.  Nigiri sushi course consisting of an appetizer, nigiri sushi, soup and dessert.  A Children’s menu is also available upon request.  Following is a sample menu from Sushi Shin:

 

MENU

~

APPETIZERS

Potato Potage + Scallops & Caviar

Potato is local produce from next town Rusutu, Hokkaido

Charred Kinmedai with Ponzu Sauce

Golden Eye Snapper (Alfonsino) with its skin seared by Bincho charcoal

Ivory Shellfish and Yurine + Ume Sauce

Lily bulb from Yoichi, Hokkaido with Ivory Shellfish

Steamed Awabi + Kimo Sauce

Black Abalone with a sauce from its liver

Straw-Smoked Saba

Mackerel fish smoked with straw

Snow Crab Ball + Sudachi Jelly

Snow crab with a Sudachi Citrus Jelly

~

NIGIRI SUSHI

Akamatsu Black throat sea perch

Akami –Lean Bluefin tuna

Hirame – Founder

Chutoro – Medium Bluefin Tuna

Kohada – Gizzard Shad

Sawara – Spanish Mackerel

Kamasu Japanese Barracuda

Ikura – Salmon Caviar

Uni– Shin-style Sea Urchin

Kuruma Ebi– Kuruma Prawn

Anago – Sea Eel

Tamago – Japanese Egg Omelet

~

Miso Soup

Seasonal Fruit

~

SEASONAL PRICING

Summer Omakase course *16,000 yen per person

Summer Nigiri sushi course *9,500 yen per person.

Children’s menu *7,000 yen per person

~

Winter Omakase course *26,000 yen per person

Winter Nigiri sushi course *19,000 yen per person

Children’s menu *11,000 yen per person

( *10% service charge and 8% consumption tax will be applied )

Sushi Shin Tai Sushi with Pickled Ginger in Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Tai Sushi with Pickled Ginger                                                                               Photographer: Aaron Jamieson
Sushi Shin Sake selection in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Sake Selection                                                                                                     Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

SAKE

Sushi Shin offers an excellent and well-priced selection of sake sourced from only the best breweries within Japan.  An omakase sake menu is also available to match with the course menu which is sure to delight sushi afficiandos.  Once chosen, the sake is presented in one of the beautiful carafes within the Sushi Shin Niseko collection.  Service staff present a tray full of unique glass and ceramic cups from which guests choose the vessel they would like to drink the sake from.  The variety and quality of tableware in the restaurant is outstanding and adds an exciting element of color and surprise as the meal progresses.

Sushi Shin Exquisite Tableware in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Exquisite Tableware                                                                                           Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

 

Sushi Shin Private Dining Room in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Private Dining Room in the Kamui                                                                         Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

SERVICE

One of the challenges for foreigners when eating sushi across Japan can be communicating with the restaurant staff.  At Sushi Shin there is a friendly and communicative environment that is created by the service team, no matter the customer level of experience or language spoken.  The general manager Fumiko has lived in Niseko for 12 years and her passion for fishing in Hokkaido means guests get insightful stories to go along with their meal. Overall, there is a comforting feeling that stems from the organization and warmth that resonates from staff members and that makes the customer experience at Sushi Shin all the more enjoyable.

KAMUI BUILDING ANNUPURI

Sushi Shin Niseko is located inside the “Kamui-Niseko” residential complex.  Kamui Niseko is the name of the building that Sushi Shin resides in and comes from the language of the Ainu tribe who are indigenous to Hokkaido.  The Ainu hold the belief that divinity exists in everything – animals, plants, mountains, rivers, and even natural phenomena like snow and rain.  The name Kamui was chosen with the hope that every visitor will spend a peaceful time in the natural environment of Niseko.  The architectural design was influenced by the existing environment in Annupuri.  The chosen palette of pale colors is a reflection of winter snow and forests of silver birch trees.  Viewed from outside it shares the same sense of tranquility one feels when walking through the Annupuri area.  Just a 15 -20 minute taxi drive from Hirafu depending on the weather, it is very accessible with a little advance planning.

Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Sashimi with Wasabi in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Seasonal Fish Sashimi with Wasabi                                                                       Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

SUSHI SHIN NISEKO EXPERIENCE

In just its first year Sushi Shin has set a new standard of excellence in Niseko for not only sushi but also for restaurants.  Impeccable ingredients are rendered into petite plates of gastronomic pleasure by a chef now approaching the height of his culinary powers.  By embracing the ingredients of the surrounding land and sea, a meal at Sushi Shin transcends the traditional dining experience to take patrons on a remarkable journey across the landscape of Hokkaido gastronomy.  This is the restaurant Niseko residents and visitors have been yearning for.  A ski holiday in Niseko is made more complete having experienced the profound flavors and charms of Sushi Shin.

Sushi Shin Private Room in the Kamui Annupuri Village Niseko on LuxNiseko Alpine Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Sushi Shin Private Dining                                                                                                     Photographer: Aaron Jamieson

DETAILS

LOCATION:    Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta District, Hokkaido 048-1500

HOURS:  Tuesday to Sunday  (Closed Mondays)
Lunch 12:00 ~ 14:00   Dinner 17:30 ~ 22:00

RESERVATIONS:   International tel. +81-136-59-2808  Japan tel. 0136-59-2808

WEBSITE:  Sushi Shin Niseko