Shuko Beach Pop Up

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Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of dining at Shuko Beach as part of a media dinner. The dinner, which lasted for about two and a half hours, included tasting various items on Shuko’s menu, enjoying cocktail beverages, tea and wine as well as having the opportunity to meet one of the chefs. I met Chef Nick, who did an exceptional job of curating a wonderful menu that highlighted some of their best dishes. Believe me, I had a difficult time deciding which dish was my favorite. However, the first dish that comes to mind as I think back to last Thursday is their spicy seafood dish with shrimp, lobster, peppers, tofu and scallions.

Once the doors open at 5:30pm, you will immediately notice how hospitable and welcoming the staff is. They greet you with a warm, genuine smile with a backdrop of a relaxing atmosphere and subtle decor. Notice the beautiful sunflowers just to the righthand side of the restaurant close to the sushi counter. It is a cheerful touch to the dining area that speaks for itself. Once it gets to be around 7:30pm, that is when the dining area quickly becomes a full house, even on a weekday, where patrons strike up lively conversations as they sit for hours, socializing over fresh sushi prepared with local vegetables and fish caught from nearby fishing boats. It is one of the restaurant’s main goals to utilize fishing and farming resources within the Hamptons and include those ingredients in their dishes.

To start, I was served a cup of their Gemmai Cha tea, an enticing blend of brown rice and green tea along with a non-alcoholic juice drink with a blend of orange juice and grapefruit which I had to have a second glass. You must try both of these beverages!

We started with a sampling of their organic edamame with a sprinkle of Montauk salt, followed by the Long Island Fluke with yellow and red tomatoes, and sliced almonds with an olive oil drizzle. I have never had raw fluke and particularly liked this one a lot. This is a great opening dish. The flavors pair very well together and it is light enough to let you be ready for what’s coming up next.

Next, we tried the spicy Kameachi with spicy yuzo sauce, arugula, and grilled mushrooms small plate. This dish was very refreshing and delcious. Think “garden meets sea” with an abundance of flavor tangled into one tempting dish. In particular, the mushrooms were the perfect added touch. I love mushrooms; I eat them with almost every meal (English breakfast, meats, salad, sauteed plain).

For the third dish, we had the grilled scallop (scallop is grilled in its shell) served with uni, foie and truffle butter. This dish set the night of on the perfect note. It excelled in taste and presentation; I have never seen anything prepared like this in such delicate, artistic way. Up next was the spicy seafood, my favorite of the night. It is prepared with spicy lobster, shrimp, peppers, tofu, and scallions. Then came a sushi taste: one slice of duck and one slice of mushroom on a small pillow of rice with chopped scallions. My favorite there was the mushroom but the duck was stellar in quality as well!

We were then surprised with a delightful sashimi tasting followed by a gastronomic sushi and additional sashimi tasting. The sushi was a spicy tuna (my favorite sushi!) and the sashimi consisted of wild yellowtail, three different tunas (lean, tuna belly), and salmon. The sashimi and sushi tastings are great summer food and perfect for sharing amongst your table. You could easily sit here for a few hours and taste sushi to your hearts content and not even realize hours have soared by.

I stopped in again this past Saturday and met chef Jimmy. He was kind enough to let me take a few pictures of him prepping the seafood for that night. I must emphasize how everyone who works there is so professional and how they extend themselves in any way they can.

Shuko Beach is located at the former Highway Diner & Bar in Wainscott (East Hampton) at 290 Montauk Highway. For more information, visit http://shukonyc.com

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