Voted number three in the Top 20 Hotels in Africa at the 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, this five-star boutique hotel is a seaside sanctuary with a lot going for it. In addition to a serene spa, 16-seat cinema, two swimming pools, a Gin Lab, and two fabulous restaurants, a world-class Sushi Bar completes the impressive list of offerings.
The light and airy sushi bar is run by chef (and sushi master) Sarawut Sukkowplang, (known for his delectable creations at Nobu), alongside executive chef Christo Pretorius, a SASSI ambassador. This dedicated duo ensures that sustainably sourced seafood is high on the agenda and, as such you can expect sea trout and oysters from Saldanha Bay, rod-caught yellowfin tuna from the cold Cape Atlantic area and freshwater trout from Fizantakraal in the Du Toitskloof Mountains. Nice work!
Chef Sarawut, who describes his style as “fusion sushi”, has created a menu that will appeal to sushi and seafood lovers alike. His flavour-packed dishes combine traditional techniques with contemporary flavours, and will leave you satisfied but craving more. Just don’t expect to eat traditional nigiri or sashimi, but rather palate-popping renditions of these classics. An innovative vegan menu was recently added to the existing selection and is proving so popular, even with meat and fish eaters.
His dashi (cooking stock that forms the base for many of his sauces and glazes) is, for example, made with kelp foraged from the Atlantic Ocean right in front of the hotel. “Every seaweed has its own flavour and character profile that makes it unique,” says Sarawut, “and once dried, it releases nutrients and intensifies in flavour.” We can vouch for that!
Top tips for eating sushi
… according to Sushi By 12A’s chef Sarawut Sukkowplang
- Dip your nigiri into soy sauce fish-side down – otherwise, the rice may fall apart.
- Enjoy the pickled ginger as a palate cleanser – eat it between different kinds of nigiri – and preferably not in the same bite as the nigiri.
- Ask for a new pair of chopsticks if you see a splinter in the wood.
- Put a little wasabi directly on the sushi if you want more heat – not into your soy sauce. The sushi chef has already placed the proper amount of wasabi for the fish in the nigiri.
- Eat with your fingers. Chopsticks are okay, but you have to be careful with how you use them. You’re not going to appreciate the temperature or the texture if you don’t use your hands.
- Don’t douse the sushi in soy sauce. It overpowers the flavor of the fish. Make sure you are dipping, rather than soaking the fish.
- Don’t rub your chopsticks together – it’s considered an insult, suggesting the quality of the chopsticks is poor.