Friday, October 14, 2011

Flavors of Japan by S+S Gastro Grub

This was S+S Gastro Grub's very first Pop-up dinner. It was a sold out dinner event with about 40+ guests in attendance. Dinner was held at Cosecha in Oakland and that place was filled with fresh seafood, lamb, nori, yuzu, matcha and many more during that night for their Japanese inspired menu.

S+S with Dominica Rice, owner of Cosecha

Sebastian and Simone = S+S Gastro Grub. I met these guys at the BTC bingo brunch over a month ago and I have to say they really have some serious passion for food. Both of them work full time and when they are not working, they either eat, cook, roast pigs, sous vide eggs or have dinner parties. They were really an inspiration for me since they are both self taught culinary enthusiasts.


Table set up

I'm glad they invited me to their pop-up to help out, meet new people, eat and enjoy their Japanese infused dishes.

Here are the pics of their 5 course "Flavors of Japan"

1st course - Hamachi Belly, yuzu lemon cloud, dill flower

2nd course - Japanese salad - baby bok choy, compressed sake Asian pears, pickled burdock, Japanese cucumbers topped with crispy salmon skin and nori

3rd course

Uni, fennel potato puree, orange anise, shiso

My favorite dish of the night

4th course - Ohitashi (marinated spinach), shoyu, sesame seed oil, shiro goma

This was a challenge rolling into those cute "sushi" bites but it pays off!

leg of lamb being sous vide for about 45 minutes.

Still part of the 4th course - leg of lamb, miso Gorgonzola sauce, kuro goma and chives

Kabocha on a home made teriyaki sauce

5th course - Matcha financier topped with a 12 hour toasted coconut cream

This was amazing!

After the event, I asked a few questions to S+S about the event and how they came up with their dishes..

Fer: What was your inspiration for your menu and why Japanese?
S+S: Japanese food is one of our favorite foods. We wouldn't attempt to make sushi even though we love  sushi rice a lot. The inspiration of our dishes are from our constant eating out. LOL! We love molecular gastronomy, food arts... so from thinking of the current seasonal ingredients, Indian summer/early fall food... we wanted to do something light and refreshing, ie. hamachi, uni, etc into something warm and fuzzy, ie. lamb but since we wanted it "Japanese", We were wondering how we can make the lamb "Japanese"; therefore the miso Gorgonzola sauce. Salmon skin hand roll is one of our almost must-order dish whenever we go out for sushi. we are very picky with our salmon skin hand rolls but we weren't about to make that as one of the courses. We also wanted to highlight the delicious seasonal Asian pears, therefore, the deconstructed salmon skin salad. I love coconut and wanted to have a warm and comforting toasted coconut cream to end the cool Indian summer night with.

Fer: What was your favorite dish that night?
S+S: I love the Uni dish a lot but I also love my toasted coconut cream a LOT as well so it's kinda hard to pick! :)

Fer: What did you guys learned from your first pop-up?
S+S: What we learned was that we must get good people to help prep so that we can concentrate more on the cooking.

Fer: What's next for S+S Gastro Grub?
S+S: We have a few catering gigs coming up within the next couple of holiday months but we would like to do more pop-ups if possible, maybe once/twice a month. If the catering and the pop-ups are going well, maybe we can both quit our day jobs and concentrate more on the food business. Right now, we are only getting business from word of mouth and once in a while from clients googling/yelping, etc. Hopefully, we can do more pop-ups and special events and get our name out

Prepping the Hamachi 

Team work

Beer and smiles

After some hard work it's time to reward themselves

It was definitely a great experience. The food was delicious. I still can't stop thinking about the Uni and  potato puree dish. It was definitely the star of the night for me. Everything was flavorful and people were having a great time. I can't wait to see what's next and to taste more food from these talented couple. Til the next event!


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