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Table Suggestions: Oshizushi from Hatsu Hana-Tei

By franco on 17 February, 2008

Battera Hako Sushi from Hatsu Hana Tei
Battera Hako Sushi
There is nothing like sushi.

The emphasis on the freshness and quality of ingredients. The precision of its assembly. The simple elegance of presentation. Hallmarks of Japanese cuisine encapsulated in a single dish.

I have been a sushi fanatic for many years and have more than my fair share of nigirizushi and tekamaki. But after a short conversation with Edwin, one of Hatsu Hana Tei’s resident sushi chefs, I dared to try a less commonly known form of sushi, popular with their Japanese guests, Oshizushi.

A specialty of Osaka, Oshizushi obviously translates into English as “Osaka-styled” sushi. Unlike the more popular, hand-pressed sushi, this older variety of sushi is formed with the use of a rectangular, wooden mold, known as an oshibako.

Essentially, this sushi is created in reverse. A sushi chef carefully lines the bottom of the mold with a selected topping (for my order, Saba or Mackerel forming a sushi called Battera). The mold is filled with unusual aggressively seasoned vinegar rice, pressed down with a wooden lid, weighted down and left to stand for a few minutes. Once a solidly compact ‘cake’ is formed, it is turned out and cut into rectangular, bite-sized sushi.

What do I love about this Battera Hako Sushi (P260)? Once you bite through the silvery thin line of mackerel skin you are immediately rewarded. Every morsel is a cascade of flavor. The distinctive sour of vinegar rice sublimely highlights the sweet freshness of mackerel. If I could, I’d probably eat several uncut oshizushi cakes by myself.

PS. I love Hatsu Hana-Tei. During our multiple visits, the Japanese guests always outnumber the Pinoys. In some cases, A and I would be the only locals in the room. In my book, this is always a good sign. Many thanks to Sharky for the recommendation.

Hatsu Hana-Tei
2nd Floor
Herald Suites
2168 Don Chino Roces Avenue
Makati City 1231
Telephone: (02) 759 6388/ 759 3814




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  • FEBRUARY 25, 2008 7:34 AM

    Sakai said...

    1st time to see that sushi

  • FEBRUARY 26, 2008 9:03 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi Sakai,

    You have to try it. It is simply sublime.

  • MARCH 15, 2010 11:27 AM

    gourmandtales said...

    nice place...