Tuna Head to Tail Dinner
Saké Restaurant & Bar The Rocks
$135 per person
Tuesday July 24, 6:30pm

Three Southern Bluefin Tuna weighing in at over 30kg each, sourced sustainably by the Stehr Group, arrive at Saké’s doorstep every Thursday.

Executive Chef Shaun Presland then expertly breaks down and features all cuts across his menus at The Rocks and Double Bay in order to to minimise waste and maximise flavour. A short-lived delicacy; the tuna sells out by Saturday, when the chefs await the next highly-anticipated delivery.

“Sourced from one of the most pristine waters in the world, Southern Bluefin Tuna is sought after by sashimi and sushi chef’s across the world.”

Last week Saké invited us over for an intimate head to tail degustation of the sustainable Southern Bluefin Tuna. The seven courses featured a range of unusual cuts and high quality delicacies, each paired to perfection with a drink of choice by our Sommelier for the evening, Gus.

Entering the seductively lit dining room behind a traditional Shōji door, we were greeted by the biggest fish I’ve ever seen in my life laid out on a table – the brother of tonight’s meal, I was told. Throughout the course of the evening, Shaun would carefully dissect this fish to show us exactly which cut we were eating in each course.

 We were also joined by Marcus Stehr of the Stehr Group on the night, who shared with us the importance of sustainable management of fisheries for the health of our environment and continuation of the industry.

“Stehr Group is committed to the long term sustainability of Southern Bluefin Tuna. They take pride in responsible fishing and adhere to comprehensive Australian legislation; ensuring protection of the species for future generations.”

Image: Lauren Geyer

On The Menu

Sashimi Tacos, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice & Tuna Nuta
Yoshinogawa Ginjo Gokujo – Niigata, Japan

Hand-diced tuna tartare, wasabi soy, chives and Hokkaido milk bread crisps
2016 Domaine Pinchinat Rosé- Côtes de Provence, France

Assortment of three cuts: akami, chutoro and otoro
Yuho Junmai – Ishikawa, Japan

Salt & pepper seasoned, coal-seared tuna tataki, katsura salad and smoked soy dressing
2016 Bass Phillip ‘Old Cellar’ Pinot Noir – Gippsland, Vic

Soy, sake and ginger marinated, grilled tuna pieces with yuzu ponzu
2015 Toolangi ‘Estate’ Chardonnay – Yarra Valley, Vic

Panko-fried ‘tuna katsu’, shredded cabbage and yuzu truffle mayonnaise
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale – Tokyo, Japan

Assorted tuna nigiri and negitoro rolls served with dark miso soup
Kozaemon Akaiwa Omachi Junmai Daiginjo – Gifu, Japan

Picking a standout dish is no easy feat for someone who scoffed down all seven courses like it was nobody’s business, but if you must know, it was the Sashimi that will have me going back for more.

Shaun’s expert use of the primal cuts, including the chu-toro, or fatty tuna, and akami, or high-quality red meat, had me hooked (get it, get it?), but it was the highly-prized (and priced) o-toro, or extra fatty tuna, that I left until last at Shaun’s recommendation, that reeled me in (okay I’ll stop now). Toro tuna is considered a delicacy: the fattier it is, the better. In Japanese, ‘toro’ means to melt, and melt-in-my-mouth it did.

Sommelier Gus’ pairings were spot on and every time I thought I’d found my new favourite Saké, he’d bring out another that topped the previous. My drink pick for the evening, though, has to be the Hitachino Nest Red Rice AleDescribed as a beautiful pink coloured ale brewed with ancient red rice, this was my kind of ale.

Saké The Rocks will host another sustainable Southern Bluefin Tuna degustation on Tuesday, 24 July at 6:30pm. The dinner costs $135pp, including matching drinks. Saké Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane will host the same degustation Tuesday, 17 July, and Saké Hamer Hall on Wednesday 25th July.