What is there to say? This was simply one of the best dinners I have EVER had. From the incredible sushi, to the unique desserts, to the gorgeous restaurant and wonderful staff, Glaze by Sasa totally blew it out of the water.
I was actually hesitant to post this review at all because, well….I don’t want to share, I simply want this whole restaurant to myself! That said, you have GOT to try this place! Glaze by Sasa was totally incredible (did I say that already?). We’ve been friends with Wayne Conwell the chef and co-owner of Glaze by Sasa for many years. We love his downtown restaurant Sushi Sasa and were thrilled to hear that he had a new restaurant! Wayne and co-owner Heather Alcott, Glaze’s original owner, have created a beautiful restaurant that brings creative Japanese flavors to the Congress Park neighborhood.
We started with the Shiromiso Soup, a light miso soup with silken tofu and exotic mushrooms. I’ve had some miso that was too strong or too salty, but the miso at Glaze was a perfect blend of flavors and textures.
We indulged in beautiful nigiri next. The salmon had the buttery, sweet taste of perfectly-fresh fish, while the tuna had the fresh, crisp flavor I always look for. The scallops were to die for. The decadent, creamy Japanese mayonnaise perfectly contrasted the texture of the scallop and the whole bite melted in your mouth. To compliment his extraordinarily fresh fish, Wayne brews his own soy sauce and makes fresh sushi rice constantly throughout the day. It really doesn’t get better.
Once we devoured our nigiri, we moved on to the spider roll, salmon tartar roll and the Scottish salmon roll. These rolls were a wonderful combination of fresh fish and complementary flavors and textures. The spider roll, or tempura soft-shell crab roll, included avocado, asparagus, cucumber, mixed greens, burdock root and Japanese mayo. The tempura batter for the crab was extremely light and provided the crunch you want in any tempura roll without any of the excess batter that can detract from the flavors of the fish. The avocado and Japanese mayo gave the roll a luscious, creamy texture contrasted perfectly by the crisp cucumber, mixed greens, burdock root.The salmon tartar roll was made with creamy salmon, japanese mayo, black pepper, black konbu, tobiko and sturgeon caviar. The roll showcased the flavor of Wayne’s incredibly fresh salmon and provided a nice hint of salt to balance and highlight the fish. The Scottish salmon roll is made with black konbu and cucumber inside with salmon,avocado and thinly sliced lemon on top. Again, with the incredibly fresh salmon that Wayne sources, there’s no going wrong here. The Scottish salmon is wonderful and is complimented by the crunch of the cucumber and the fresh finish of the lemon.
Finally, to finish, we had to try Glaze’s famous baum cakes. A baum cake is a type of layered cake that is popular in Japan. The cake is made on a spit by brushing (or dipping) on even layers of batter and then rotating the spit around a heat source. Each layer is allowed to brown before a new layer of batter is poured. When the cake is cut, the layers of dough resemble tree rings, giving the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which literally translates to “tree cake”. We tried the Citrus Mount Baum, served with a vanilla anglaise and a delicate honey-rosemary cheesecake. The combination was heavenly. The cake has a satisfying chew and has a nice level of sweetness. You know you’re eating dessert but you still have all your teeth when you’re done. The cheesecake was unique, inventive, light and a perfect compliment to the baum cake. I should also mention, the oven the oven that creates those lovely baum creations is the only one of its kind in the western hemisphere!
Congratulations to Wayne and Heather, Glaze by Sasa is an incredible restaurant and an invaluable addition to the Congress Park neighborhood!