Welcome back to Week in Reviews. Seattle's food critics recently visited Sushi Kashiba, Seven Beef, Kedai Makan, Culture Club, and Eve. Here's what they had to say:
PIKE PLACE MARKET—Angela Garbes for The Stranger praises the return of "Seattle's greatest chef," sushi master Shiro Kashiba at Sushi Kashiba, and implores diners to put themselves in his hands with an omakase chef's choice tasting menu:
"Shiro Kashiba is in his mid-70s, and to watch him work is to see a man both fully at ease and in complete control of his powers. He slices fish and molds grains of rice with effortless precision, all while keeping a watchful eye on the dining room, giving instructions to the front- and back-of-house staffs, and cheerfully bantering with diners. His mastery is not only one of sushi making, but of communicating and establishing a rapport with people."
CAPITOL HILL—For Seattle Weekly, Nicole Sprinkle explores an a la carte experience at Seven Beef, rather than the restaurant's signature seven-course Vietnamese meal. She savors perfectly wood-fired cuts of the restaurant's local, grass-fed cows, broken down entirely in-house; baked potatoes, which "nearly upstage the meat"; and steak tartare, "a great item from which to gauge a restaurant's meat quality":
"Seven Beef's, to my very pleasant surprise, is hand-chopped to order. I watched it being prepared, and the glistening red jewels of beef, a generous portion at $14, come lightly seasoned with horseradish. The dish achieves that rare balancing act of rich and delicate, and ranks as one of the best versions I've had."
CAPITOL HILL—The Seattle Times' Providence Cicero awards three stars to the always-busy Malaysian melting pot of cuisines that is Kedai Makan, upgraded to full-service spot from its former takeout window:
"The kitchen sends out food with astonishing speed. If you want a slower pace, order in stages. With affordable prices and portions so generous almost everyone leaves with a big brown bag of leftovers, it's no wonder there's a line."
FREMONT— At Seattle Met, Kathryn Robinson tries on Eve for size, a restaurant, co-owner Debra Russell explains, "going for elevated hippie food." She has an uneven experience, wishing the quality of the thick bison burger or the kale salad "appeared with more regularity," but also appreciating the healthful approach:
"On the other hand—and it's a pretty big hand—clean eating's not nothing. Nursing a warming mug of bone broth one night at Eve, it dawned on me that Seattle simply doesn't have that many destination restaurants prioritizing nutritional purity over culinary artistry.[...] Within the context of the rest of Eve's lovely package, I'm not sure that needs elevating."
CAPITOL HILL—Finally, also for Seattle Met, Robinson's willing to overlook "walls done in Early Cell Block" and a bit of "brusque service" at Culture Club, which does cheese right:
"These are simply lush creations—particularly the grilled cheese sandwich oozing Perolari taleggio and sherried mushrooms—but, as with service and decor, adjust expectations regarding the menu. Not quite a restaurant, Culture Club offers just four or five substantive selections a night. Thank heavens they're all you need."