Meet the chef - Myra at A. S. Sushi + More
PUBLISHED: 12:47 24 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:47 24 June 2016
Myra, of A. S. Sushi + More, tells us about bringing her authentic Japanese food experience to Dorchester's high street
Training for Sushi chefs is traditionally long and hard. Once they have mastered the standard sushi repertoire, they then have to be an artist. The food must look beautiful - you eat with your eyes as well as your taste buds with this cuisine. Fortunately for Dorset there is a very talented Sushi chef - Myra - who has mastered all these aspects and is sharing them in the restaurant and deli A. S. Sushi + More on High East Street in Dorchester, which she runs with Paul, her husband.
What was your first experience of cooking?
At my mother’s side, cooking for our large family; I would go to the market with my mother and from a young age I could tell which fish was fresh, and I knew all the herbs and spices and vegetables. The family farm in the Philippines grows rice, which means I know everything there is to know about rice, from planting to harvesting, drying, milling and cooking.
Tell me about your training?
My first two years was making international dishes, then I specialised in the sushi. First you learn how to cook the rice; then you learn the preparation of the fish and other ingredients, and then you go on to making the sushi; finally came the art of presentation. I have been making Sushi for more than 25 years.
How did Sushi + More start?
The company grew from a school lunch box. Our family relocated to Dorset from the Far East so our son could attend school in Sherborne. He took a bento box of sushi to school for his lunch, then it was two boxes then four and so on. Upon investigation it transpired he had started a business!
Inspired by this we started the venture in a small way at Dorset Farmers’ Markets. The business rapidly expanded, thanks to the wise guidance of a Dorchester chef, and we attended the Dorset Seafood Festival, Dorset County Show, and then we took our sushi further afield to Edinburgh and London. But county support has always been strong, and during the winter of 2014/ 2015, one of our Dorset customers came forward as our Patron, and generously provided unlimited help to start the restaurant.
Where do you source your ingredients?
What makes the sushi and other dishes we make here special are the ingredients we use. The authentic Oriental ingredients are imported from Japan, including the all important sushi rice and the seasoning for it, along with the ingredients for the sauces we make. The fish and vegetables we use are the freshest and best quality available: salmon from Scotland, tuna from the Maldives, mackerel from the Atlantic, hamachi (amberjack) from Japan and so on. Although Sushi is an international cuisine I have bought locally grown shitaki mushrooms from Corton Denham, rainbow trout from Mere, smoked mackerel from Bridport and eel from Somerset. We are also going to be using Lyme Bay scallops, lobster and brown crab from our local fishermen on the menu this summer too.
Is it just sushi on the menu?
As the name of the restaurant states we offer Sushi and More, and the ‘more’ aspect consists of a range of hot Japanese dishes.
Kyoyu-Sha are ideal dishes for sharing and include tempura, harumaki, takoyaki, gyosa and salads made with pumpkin croquettes, edamame beans, and seaweeds.
Men Ryori are noodle dishes such as udon soup and yaki soba with chicken, seafood or vegetables
Finally there are the Rice Dishes: these include teriyaki, katsu curries and kushiyaki (meat or prawns on bamboo skewers), marinated schichimi and seven spices served with sweet Yakitori sauce. There really is something for everyone and we have a good range of vegetarian dishes, as well gluten free options.
What sort of dishes do you sit down to at home?
If you work in a chocolate factory, you probably don’t eat chocolate at home! I like sitting down to a Sunday roast of sirloin of beef, with roasted vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.
Anything new you will be trying out on your menus?
Lyme Bay scallops, lobster, and brown crabs from our local fishermen will certainly be on our menu this summer.
A signature dish I would recommend…
Sushi Platter: a selection showcasing the Sushi on offer that day, typically it would contain: Nigiri Pieces made with: sake (salmon); maguro (tuna); ebi (prawns); tamago (omelette), asparagus and avocado, ikura gunkan (salmon roe); futomaki rolls filled with tuna/cucumber. It comes with gari (pickled ginger) wasabi and soy.
• 20 High East Street, Dorchester DT1 1HH; 01305 751859 assushiandmore.co.uk
• Open: Tues - Thurs 12.30 – 2.30pm & 6 – 9pm; Fri – Sat midday – 10pm
• Meet the chef - Ian Grant at the Alexandra Hotel - With the produce of three counties on his doorstep Ian Grant, Executive Chef at the Alexandra Hotel, loves to get creative with his seasonally inspired menus