By Jano Tantongco
Chee Meng So, executive chef of 110 Japan in Huntington Station, said that cooking must be one’s passion in order to craft the best dishes.
“Usually cooking is all from your heart. If you put your love, your heart into the food, then the creation of the food tastes much better,” he said.
So has previously worked as a chef at the Four Seasons hotels in both Malaysia and Singapore. He said that fresh fish is imported twice a week from a fish market in Japan to fill the plates of restaurant patrons.
So added that 110 Japan offers six- or nine-course chef tastings for patrons. A six-course tasting costs $75 per person, with a $30 option for sake and wine pairings with each course.
The nine-course tasting costs $100, with a $50 sake and wine pairing option.
He said that, prior to the tasting, he will determine a potential diner’s palette and design a tasting to suit their preferences.
To start off the six-course chef’s tasting, the Black Pepper Bluefin Tuna was a fresh and springy starter that paved the way for a diverse palette of ingredients to come. The combination of black pepper and a jalapeno slice on top filled each bite with a warm spiciness to start the taste off with a bang. The sweet onion soy dressing cools off the fish and helps enhance the dish overall.
The Shima Aji Sea Urchin pairing was a true fish lover’s delight, featuring salmon roe to additionally unify together all the flavors of the dish. The Shima Aji, also known as striped horse mackerel, was nothing short of luscious and rich. It was served with ponzo jelly, providing a burst of barbeque-like citrus flavor with each taste.
The Sayori Sashimi might seem like an adventurous dish, but it truly shines as a balance between crispy and tender, all with one fish. The body is cut and served with a topping of angel tears, which is imitation caviar flecked with real, edible gold flakes. The dish is not only appealing to the eyes, but the crunchy fried spine makes an excellent texture complement to the soft slices of the fish.
The Paper Shabu-Shabu is the restaurant’s innovative and hands-on take on the popular dish.
Instead of a full pot and stove, this dish uses a sterno underneath a paper bowl filled with fish stock and miso to cook up succulent slices of wagyu beef and scallops. One swishes the meat through the broth for about 30 seconds to gently boil it. Then, one can dip it in either a truffle ponzu sauce or a spicy hot and sour sauce made with lime lemongrass.
For a more classic dish, the Pork Fried Rice with Egg Crepe was an elegant spin on a staple item. The rice was covered by a fluffy crepe topped with an under layer of sweet chili sauce.
Inside, the warm rice is mixed with hearty chunks of tender pork.
Finally, enjoy a Vanilla Ice Cream and Green Tea Matcha. Instead of the traditional coffee flavors of the Italian affogato, the green tea flavor gives the ice cream an authentically Japanese flavor. Paired with a chewy mochi, the dessert juxtaposes various textures for a satisfying finish to the meal.
Patrons interested in the chef tasting must call ahead to schedule a reservation.
For reservations, or more information, visit 110japan.com or call 631-673-5888.