In a nutshell
Shaun Presland takes residency at Carousel in Marylebone with a five-course Japanese set menu including sashimi, Hiramasa Kingfish and chocolate bubble tea, with delicious cocktails and carefully sourced sake.
Shaun Presland is the executive chef of contemporary Japanese restaurant chain Saké in Australia. Shaun spent many years in Yamagata, a small town in the hills of Japan, immersing himself in Japanese culture and cuisine. He then trained with renowned Japanese chefs, including Nobu Matsuhisha, and even spent seven years studying sushi alone.
As with all residencies at Carousel, there is a set five-course menu, with the option of adding two extra courses.
The menu starts with a generous seven-piece sashimi appetiser, including salmon, bream and Hiramasa Kingfish that Shaun has personally sourced from South Australia. The tartare is excellent – pearly pieces of scallop, fresh salmon and creamy avocado with a tangy coriander and orange infused ponzu dressing and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Crispy skin Hiramasa Kingfish is the main dish, with a ginger teriyaki glaze and a fine leek tempura wrapped in nori seaweed to contrast the soft texture of the fish. Chirashi (scattered) sushi rounds up the savoury courses, along with a comforting bowl of miso soup. The tiny chocolate bubble tea dessert was a clever finish – chocolate butterscotch mousse with hidden pistachios and a layer of pearly bubbles for that surprise element.
The optional courses are both worth ordering. The first is ‘Mushimono’ – Chinese inspired steamed prawn Shumai dumplings with spicy ponzu and shredded gyoza skins. The only meat course is also worth the extra expense… melt-in-the-mouth seared beef tenderloin, with tangy ginger soy dressing and fried garlic chips for a crisp-sweet topping.
What we liked
The open kitchen, friendly staff and communal seating on two long wooden tables made us feel like we were at a friend’s house for dinner. We chatted to the couple next to us, and all around us strangers were doing the same.
We also loved the Presco Goose cocktail – Grey Goose vodka, grapefruit juice and yuzu shaken and poured over crushed ice, sweetened with sugar around the rim.
Mid-range: £35 for four courses, two extra courses for £8.50 each, sake from £6.50 glass.
4 – 15 August 2015. To book Shaun Presland’s residency, or one of Carousel’s other upcoming residencies, click here.
By Alex Crossley
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