Bringing the delights of the sea to your plate

Claire’s Cuisine
With Sun Media’s Claire Rogers

Competition is certainly heating up for the entry dishes for the Ora King Salmon Awards.

A big thanks to Debbie and the team at The Rabbit Hole for the invite to not only try the entry dish, but to enjoy a superb five-course wine and food match degustation with stunning dishes produced by executive chef Cezar Takahasi and his highly talented team, matched perfectly with gorgeous Matawhero wines.

What a great night – amazingly crafted dishes, excellent service and a superb venue.

The elements of each dish and the matching wines were carefully explained before each course.

Most fascinating was the story told by Cezar on the origins of how the creation of his Ora King Salmon entry dish came about.

Cezar’s dish was an exquisite work of art, showcasing his interpretation of the bottom of the sea, amazing colours, textures, balance and harmony.

Cezar has a wealth of experience born from his Japanese/Brazilian heritage. He is passionate about all aspects of food, from filleting whole fish (something he learnt from his Japanese grandfather), to combining the culinary techniques of Japan with the flavours and sweetness of his Brazilian heritage – known as Nikkei Fusion. His menu reflects his heritage, while at the same time he incorporates a strong hint of Kiwi cuisine from time spent in the Cook Islands working and living with Kiwis. His career spans 13 years, including several years as a Sushi Master. Cezar is passionate about delivering the perfect meal, both visually and gastronomically.

The entry dish, ‘Corina Kaiyo’, uses techniques that Cezar’s grandmother taught him many years ago. The salmon is cured using the kobujime technique, which is a way of curing salmon by wrapping it in konbu seaweed and salt. The konbu boosts the umami flavour in the fish, giving it a unique taste. The salmon is coloured with red cabbage juice to give it a Latin touch. The dish also uses the Japanese style of pickled cucumber called sunomono. The shallots have a Latin twist as well, poached in chilli and vanilla syrup.

Make sure you try this Ora King Salmon dish currently featured on the menu at The Rabbit Hole, or one of the many other interesting dishes.

The Weekend Sun has a $100 voucher for an Ora King-inspired dinner at The Rabbit Hole to give away to one lucky reader. Enter online at – subject line Ora King.

Entries must be received before Wednesday, August 2.

To see the history behind what drives Cezar in his creations, read the full story at

It is a story filled with tales of war, arranged marriage, love for the sea and fishing.


There are no comments on this blog.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now