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Japanese cuisine is well-known for its fresh ingredients and precise techniques. Soul Sushi uses these traditional Japanese methods, but adds a modern and innovative twist. Sushi is just one part of what this new Milford restaurant has to offer, and the all-encompassing menu has something for everyone to enjoy.
Johnny Yoon has had an interesting and varied path to becoming the head chef at Soul Sushi in Milford. Johnny says: “My parents sent me to a cooking academy at the age of 14, where I studied patisserie. I soon learned I did not enjoy this style of food – but what I did enjoy was the process of cooking and providing delicious food for people to eat. I spent a lot of time watching cooking shows on television when I was young!”
His passion for food grew, and after moving to Auckland, he attended Auckland Chef School and has been working as a chef for the past 10 years. Johnny’s background in local cafes and restaurants means he has also spent a lot of time working with western menus, and at Soul Sushi this experience has been combined with his enthusiasm for Japanese cuisine.
Johnny’s sushi looks and tastes amazing; the ingredients are super-fresh, and sourced from local suppliers. He buys all the salmon from Akaroa, and even has a special supplier for avocados in order to get just the right size and quality of fruit. Some of the sushi ingredients are traditional and some are more innovative. He uses finishing touches such as dried tangerine, fish eggs, beetroot mayonnaise and pea puree. This adds a real point of difference and a burst of flavour to these delicious morsels, and it’s clear that a lot of effort goes into producing it.
Sushi is just the beginning at Soul Sushi; the restaurant also offers a full menu to sit down and enjoy, or to take away. Donburi translates to ‘food on rice’, and the choices range from chicken or pork katsu, pork belly with poached egg, to grilled spicy prawns and teriyaki tofu or salmon. Fresh sashimi with caviar is another stand out dish. Yakisoba (pan fried noodles) and udon noodle dishes are wonderfully warming in the cold weather. Udon is a traditional Japanese cuisine, and is served in a broth with pork or chicken. Ramen is a favorite Japanese dish with many different varieties being eaten across Japan. Ramen consists of wheat noodles, and there are many different varieties of ramen eaten across Japan. Usually it is served as a meat based broth, and Soul Sushi offers both a pork belly and a chicken version. All menu items are made from scratch, including fresh stock, and vegetarian and vegan versions are available, or meat can be swapped out with other ingredient such as fresh tofu.
Soul Sushi puts a unique spin on traditional Japanese cuisine - so for those with a love for tasty, healthy food, made from the freshest ingredients, Soul Sushi is a welcome addition to the local dining scene.
Soul Sushi, 83-85 Kitchener Road, Milford, 09489 7546, Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm.
Channel Magazine: Issue 79 August 2017