Jan 23, 2013

Sushi tasting session at the Creekside Sheraton

When you are invited to a sushi tasting session at the Creekside restaurant in the Sheraton hotel, it's difficult to decline.  I enthusiastically RSVP'd myself and a friend for this afternoon filled with sushi related fun! The Sheraton sushi master, Chef Rikko greeted us with excitement as media and guests gathered at the demo station in the restaurant.  His charismatic personality and warm demeanor immediately grabbed our attention, as we sat "all ears" waiting for the sushi demo to begin. 
Chef Rikko explained to us the importance of seasoning the rice and demonstrated the meticulous technique used in this ancient Japanese culinary art form.   From evenly spreading the rice on top of the nori, to elegantly and evenly placing the filling in the center, then to perfectly forming and cutting the rolls, we received a crash course in sushi 101 from a skilled sushi master in the UAE. He even recruited a volunteer to participate in the demo, Ms. Lena Terlaare, the editor and Chief of Good Housekeeping ME. She was brave to face the sushi test against chef Rikko, and he applauded her for her efforts.
After getting the inside scoop on the art of sushi making, we were curious to try all of the unique creations they had made for us on this special day. The menu was extensive, and we made sure to bring our appetites, because when Creekside Sheraton restaurant does food, they do it the right way. The counters were lined with every type of roll you could imagine as well as this beautiful food art display.
With items such as the Sweet Escape consisting of mango and the special "creekside" sauce as well as the Spicy Tempura Maki, there is something that appeals to almost every palate.  But these two were my particular favorites.  The balance of mago and savory sauce in the Sweet Escape was exactly what I was craving!  In contrast the crispy tempura maki which was coated on the outside with tempura batter and then deep-fried and topped with spicy tuna was one of my all time favorite flavor combinations.
Chef Rikko was one of the kindest and most personable chefs in town.  He individually thanked us all for attending the tasting, and apologized for not presenting us with real flowers, but instead he gave us all a beautifully cut carrot flower.  It was prettier than any "real"flower I had ever received, and he was thoughtful enough to color coordinate it with the signature Sheraton napkins.   
 Before, the sushi at Creekside rseaturant was only available as part of the legendary Creekside Seafood buffet, but now these lovely little rolls are available a la carte as well.  With 11 types of maki rolls as well as their famous Creekside salad and sashimi selection, you can't go wrong with prices ranging from AED 30-AED 90.

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