Matsutake season at the newly reopened Shun

November 5th, 2009 by Dawn

Hm, has it really been three months since we’ve done anything with this blog? We have a small excuse (and he’s really small).  If you read our trip journal in our last posting, you may have noticed that we were expecting our first child.  He arrived a month early, and we’ve been busy getting into the swing of our new life with baby in tow.

We’ve started dining out easy by venturing to restaurants in our neighborhood for quick meals.  Fortunately, one of our favorite neighborhood places, Shun, just reopened last Thursday after a summer hiatus, so that’s where we headed last night.  During their closure, they were busy moving the whole restaurant across the street, to one of the newly built mixed-use buildings.

Matsutake tempura

We missed Shun because they serve the best Japanese food in our neighborhood.  Their sushi is decent, although not the primary reason we go there (Kisaku has better sushi and is only slightly further from our house).  What they excel at is the hot dishes.  The menu is the same as their old location, so we can still order our familiar favorites.

Their tempura undo noodle soup hits the spot on a blustery fall evening like tonight.  The broth has a slight sweetness, and with the optional red pepper mixed in, it’s perfectly balanced against the heat.  We also enjoy the black cod kasuzuke, a slightly caramelized fish prepared in a sake marinade.

One of my favorite sakes to order at Shun is the unfiltered Momokawa Pearl.  Poured to overflowing in a masu, a lacquered box, it has a creamy body and sweet flavor.

Last night’s specials menu listed two matsutake dishes, and we ordered both.  If you’re not familiar with this pine-scented mushroom, now is the season to try it, and Shun has some simple preparations that really bring out the flavor of this wild-foraged mushroom.  One dish featured the matsutake simply tempuraed.  Piping hot, they were delicious dipped in the traditional tempura sauce.  Our favorite preparation, however, was the scented Matsutake Dobinmushi.  After pouring the soup from a small teapot, we inhaled the scent of the forest from our tiny soup cups.  Inside the teapot were slices of the mushroom which we picked out with chopsticks, savoring the pine flavor.

We were surprised to see that Shun was already busy, with nearly every table full.  Word has apparently gotten out about the reopening, and it’s clear that we’re not the only ones who missed them!

5101 25th Ave NE, #11, Seattle
(206) 522-2200

Shun Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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