Low Country Meets Outside Influences – Charleston Dining, Part 1

There’s nothing quite like haute southern cuisine — all that butter, bacon and cream.  Oh yeah, and the calories.  But so worth it!

Our recent trip to Charleston featured some great food experiences – and some that were good, but with one dish that just missed the mark, like the tuna sashimi oysters at Cypress.

In retrospect, I should have thought about how the dish would be seasoned – soy , wasabi and ginger for the tuna or mignonette for the oyster?  Or a strange combo of the two?  Instead, I was mesmerized by the possibility of the texture — the buttery soft of the raw tuna and then the slippery tang of the raw oyster.

Tuna Sashimi Osyters at Cypress

The plate looked gorgeous – oysters on the half shell with a perfect slice of tuna sashimi on each one.  A tiny bead of green wasabi sat atop each slice of tuna and some type of slick varnish sat underneath each oyster.  For the first taste, I knocked off the little festive ball and tasted — should have been a sign.

Sure enough, the texture was divine, but then I got to the sauce (is that the word?).  The menu described the accompaniment as cilantro-lime glaze pineapple wasabi.  I thought I tasted acid and something gritty, maybe ginger (probably the pineapple), then I tasted something sweet.  Yuck.

The next one, I kept the wasabi ball on top.  Better I guess, although the wasabi was a bit harsh and while it covered the initial taste of the sauce, it somehow enhanced the sweetish aftertaste.  I ate the others quickly, trying to linger over the texture, but block out the unruly mix of flavors.

Great concept and mix of textures – next time, I’d get it without garnish.  Or I’d try a more traditional starter, like the the shrimp and grits instead.

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