By Rob Kacheriess | April 27, 2017 | Food & Drink
Inventive takes on Scottish tradition, SushiSamba's Japanese whiskies are surprisingly perfect with raw fish.
Whisky soy-marinated robata pork ribs with aji panca barbecue sauce are paired with Akashi single malt, aged five years in sherry casks.
SushiSamba’s mission is to have the best, most diverse Japanese whisky selection in Vegas—an ambitious goal for the Palazzo restaurant already known for a mammoth sake list and an inventive Japanese and South American menu. “Japanese whisky is based on Scotch, which goes back over 500 years,” says Hayes Swope, SushiSamba’s director of hospitality and training. “The Japanese are playing a lot more with different mixtures of grains and barley but follow the same regulations.”
With its 30 mostly rare whiskies, it is carving a unique identity among its Strip competitors, including its next-door neighbor. “Delmonico Steakhouse has the biggest, best brown liquor list I’ve ever seen,” he says. “And they have six from Japan.” To spread the word, SushiSamba has introduced a seven-course Japanese whisky pairing menu, including a passion fruit sour served alongside a tempura Minter Sweet oyster. Swope describes the Wagyu Cocktail as “decadence in a glass.”While the pairing dinner was devised as a limited run, he expects it to continue as the demand for Japanese whisky increases. Distilleries in Japan “honor and respect the different ingredients and the natural resources that go into making it, yet they’re playful at the same time.” Palazzo, 702-607-0700
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS WESSLING