Fresh, naturally sweet, just plain delicious. Japanese food was once considered something that was "challenging" to eat because some dishes are made with raw fish. Today, diners are able to appreciate the different tastes and textures each cut of seafood has to offer and how a bit of delicate seasoning can bring out the fresh flavors.
In the hands of a true master like Chase Kojima, who was recently the guest chef at Sevva in Hong Kong, the results are multisensory art.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Kojima was exposed to the Japanese kitchen by his chef father at a young age.
On Sundays, when he was 11, he would go out to dine with his dad and later make dishes with him. At 13, he created a snapper (tai) ceviche sushi with his dad - a dish that, with some refinements, he still makes 18 years later. During his impressive career, Kojima has headed up kitchens around the world for the Nobu restaurant group.
That environment pushed him to use his creativity and knowledge of ingredients to come up with dishes customers had not tried before. After leaving Nobu, Kojima went to work at Sokyo at The Star in Sydney.
Now with Kojima at the helm, Sokyo has won numerous awards, including the One Chef's Hat (2014) from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Two Glasses (2013) from Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year Awards and Award of Excellence (2012) from Wine Spectator Restaurant Wine List Awards.
Hong Kong has had a love affair with Japanese food for many years, which Kojima explains simply: "It just tastes really good!"