By 35 min Shinkansen ride from Tokyo, I did not expect to find such an excellent treat in this beautiful bay town of Odawara.
Located just right facing the fish market of Odawara and an open bay, freshest seafood at their best quality is guaranteed to be hand picked by Chef Takashi, every single morning. If you ask for a menu, for your lunch or dinner tomorrow,
he will say 'let's see what I will get from the market tomorrow morning'.
This reminds me of the famous line quoted from the movie Ratatouille, "surprise me"... and in fact I was.
Presented as a tiny white-blue themed restaurant, Il Mare may deceiving you from not taking this place seriously, but once you step in, a cozy intimate ambience will embrace you with 'excellence is in the air' immediately.
Step by step once I was seated, curiosity was thrilling me. Starting from amuse, only by looking and of course after tasting, you know that you will be spoiled in this dining room.
A crunchy fresh baby fish and squid tempura was beautifully landing right in front of you. A pretty artwork which I hesitated to destroy but the taste was so wonderful that I did not feel guilty cleaning the plate fast.
After awed by the first course, just with the perfect gap of time, a bigger plate of another artwork, seemed to be sent from heaven. Imagine a combination of light greens and 12 different sashimi (yes, 12) was an endless palate discoveries. Not only the freshness of the seafood which won my satisfaction, but the dressing was also perfectly match with every single piece and greens beneath. It was just beautiful.
Pasta dish coming afterwards, was nothing to be complained about, but raving about. Aldente spaghettini with sakura shrimp, squid, lightly cooked in olive oil and lemon, was really a dish not to be missed to complete the flare.
I did not want my dreaming day to end indeed, but well, a pistachio panna cotta with finely shaved chocolate was marking the end of my walking on clouds.
My lunch had come to an end.
All thumbs to Il Mare and one word: Perfetto!!
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