Hotate at the Minato Sushi Restaurant in Halifax
I it is a pity my dining experience at Minato Sushi Restaurant in Halifax was so disappointing, especially as the place has otherwise had some decent reviews. None of the dishes I was served there were very enjoyable, with their Gyoza being absolutely dreadful. The Hotate, or Scallop appetizer you see pictured above, was better than the Gyoza, but not by much.
Hotate, strictly speaking, are a species of Scallop native to Asian waters, but I am not actually sure whether or not I have ever been served this variety in any Japanese restaurants in this part of the world. The small sort appearing in the dish above were, I am fairly sure, the diminutive ones from local waters generally know as Bay Scallops.
This Scallop appetizer appeared on the menu at Minato as Butter Hotate, and the shellfish were lightly pan-seared and served in Soy Sauce and Butter along with sliced Button Mushrooms. Some carrot shreds and spinach also appeared for visual appeal.
The Scallops themselves had been only slightly seared to a very slight tan color on the ends. In truth, searing very the very small Bay variety to produce the lovely, tasty crust you get with larger Sea Scallops is problematic as it will also dry out the flesh. Here, the meat had been in the pan just long enough to cook it through yet remain tender. In truth, the little Bay Scallops were not at peak freshness, but they were still sweet tasting and pleasant enough.
The main issue I had with this dish was the sauce. I cannot be sure what the problem was, but I am fairly certain that the butter they used had been out too long and started to go rancid. The saltiness of the light Soy Sauce they added offset this ever so slightly, but not enough to cover the unpleasant taste. The mushrooms were decent, if unremarkable, and the Scallops not too bad, but the awful sauce really ruined the Hotate at the Minato Sushi as far as I was concerned.