José Cerdá’s restaurant Hoze in Gothenburg serves only six guests simultaneously – so, the waiting list is three months. But if you’re a sushi-lover, the wait is worth your while: You’ll enjoy the best sushi in Gothenburg – Sweden.
José Cerdá has been serving exceptional sushi here for more than a decade. Don’t expect strong alcoholic beverages at Hoze. Here the focus is on food. José says he doesn’t want foodies who have travelled from afar to be bothered by tipsy neighbors. However, this minimalistic restaurant offers an ever-changing sushi menu prepared to perfection.
Related: Hunting The Black Gold in Sweden
Six seats only
A restaurant with only six seats that does not serve alcohol may sound like a bad idea. In addition, Hoze is only open four days a week. Nevertheless, since 2009, there has been no shortage of sushi enthusiasts who are looking for intimate experiences of Japanese snacks and sushi here. The White Guide describes the restaurant as “a Japanese microcosm where nothing is left to chance.”
Seated in a row
The setting – with guests seated in a row at the counter, facing the lit-up kitchen – is not at all unlike an intimate theatre. Chef José Cerdá, however, is no natural verbal entertainer, preferring instead to let the craftsmanship speak. He serves an exclusive take on Japanese sushi under the concept of omakase which is Japanese for “It’s up to you” – meaning that you leave it up to the chef to create the best culinary experience possible.
Related: Shellfish Safaris in West Sweden
In Hoze it is allowed to eat exactly the way you want it, and it is allowed to ask about anything. But for the most part it is very quiet here. But It should be mentioned that José’s cooking really is of the sort that deserves reverence. He is using only the best ingredients – 90% of the fish is caught in Scandinavian waters – and Cerdá is ambitiously combining interesting flavors.
Passionate about Japanese cuisine
José Cerdá has been passionate about Japanese cuisine ever since he was apprenticed to a respected chef who had worked for the Emperor of Japan. Over the course of three years, the young chef learned the most about putting together the right ingredients.
For instance, a horse mussel from the Faroe Islands, steamed on the half-shell for twenty minutes and divided lengthwise, tastes like a cross between brown crab meat and sea urchin. A fillet from the fattiest part of a bluefin tuna has been tenderized for three weeks and tastes like an entire universe. However, José uses careful cooking methods and develops his sushi skills by continuous trips to Japan.
Related: The Little Big City in Sweden
Caught “in front of” Scandinavia
A sign outside the restaurant says in Japanese “in front of Scandinavian sushi Hoze” – because the fish he uses is caught “in front” of Scandinavia. For instance, fresh sea urchin is mixed with cuttlefish in a nigiri with a few drops of sudachi and salt. A handful of aged crimson glass shrimps from Smögen are grilled just briefly enough to still feel raw, but have gained a rich fire flavor.
“Working in this way is a bit like standing on a stage,” says José. It’s an intimate experience, just six guests, my father (75) and I.»
The Best Sushi in Gothenburg – Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg