Earlier than he started consulting on the uncooked fish program at Takibi, chef Cody Auger — identified for his nationally praised sushi restaurant, Nimblefish — sat down for a meal on the newly opened Japanese restaurant, tucked behind the Snow Peak outside items retailer in Northwest Portland. “I had a extremely superb meal,” he says. “There have been enjoyable performs on conventional concepts, however nothing that strayed too removed from it, and it felt true to the Pacific Northwest.”
For these accustomed to Auger’s cooking, that very same ethos isn’t far off from what he’s performed in Portland. At Nimblefish, Auger has taken Japanese dishes and strategies and included Pacific Northwestern components, curing his personal salmon roe and cracking Dungeness for omakase service. In the summertime, simply after the restaurant’s opening, Auger started serving to Takibi with its uncooked program, tackling classically Auger-ian dishes like salted-and-cured mackerel. When Submarine Hospitality left the restaurant after the launch, the staff at Snow Peak – which owns Takibi — determined to rent Auger to take over, working the restaurant.
“My focus is to get it again to the unique basis of what that menu was,” Auger says. “Proceed some very conventional concepts, invite some enjoyable to the menu, and undoubtedly put a bit extra seafood into the combo and intensify that grill.”
At Takibi, lots of the dishes use a mix of Oregon components in Japanese preparations; for Auger, one of many current additions to the menu is a good exemplification of that concept. Auger has been experimenting with warayaki, a straw-grilling method that sears and gently smokes the skin of the fish however retains the inside tender and uncommon, if not uncooked. To start out, he’s utilizing Oregon albacore, straw-smoked-and-seared, within the model of tataki. “It makes use of the wood-fired fireside we’ve been working with and the uncooked program,” he says. The same seafood-hearth crossover is the restaurant’s miso-marinated black cod, a holdout from earlier menus, which makes use of each Pacific Northwestern black cod and a Portland-made chickpea miso. “It’s a no brainer to maintain that one on,” he says. “It exemplifies a whole lot of Pacific Northwest character, and native components, as properly.”
Equally, Auger is specializing in native sport to accompany the restaurant’s seafood. One other miso-marinated dish is the restaurant’s Oregon-raised lamb chop, which spends 24 hours in barley miso earlier than touchdown on the grill’s open flame. The restaurant is sourcing rabbit from Nicky Farms, raised in Aurora, braised with dashi, root greens, and chrysanthemum greens; the restaurant’s dorayaki, a Japanese honey pancake, additionally makes use of Nicky rabbit in a liver mousse, with house-cured ikura and chives.
Bar director Jim Meehan and bar supervisor Lydia McLuen will keep on at Takibi, as will the overwhelming majority of the staff. Auger will make Takibi his major residence base, permitting his longtime sushi chef Yasu Tabita run the present at Nimblefish. “At all times the plan for for Nimblefish was to… create this enterprise that we might to step again from,” Auger says. “The pandemic was one of many issues that helped us with that: We transitioned to a takeaway program, we promoted some of us to handle that scenario… Tabita, he’s been dealing with that position for, I’d say, virtually a 12 months plus now.”
Those that wish to eat meals ready by Auger can go to Takibi for service indoors and outdoor, with proof of vaccination or a unfavorable COVID take a look at from inside 48 hours of arrival.
• Takibi [Official]
• Chef Cody Auger Is One of the Sushi World’s Rising Stars [Eater]
• Previous Nimblefish coverage [EPDX]