Last night Erin and I ate at the sushi bar downtown where a classmate of mine works (I don’t want to list the name of the restaurant so as to prevent him from getting in trouble). I’ll see if I can get the details right, because towards the end things got a little fuzzy.
The first course was sashimi of fluke with daikon radish that had something done to it to make it spicier and was garnished with some type of tobiko that I’d never had. This was a great way to start, pretty light fish with light flavors.
I believe the second course was a tartar of chutoro (a fatty cut of tuna from the spine area) that was over rice, already seasoned with soy sauce, contained a raw quail egg that we had to stir in ourselves and was garnished with real wasabi. For me this was one of, if not, my favorite dishes of the evening. Real wasabi is so much better than that pasty stuff you get at other places and I just kept adding more and more of it into the tartar. Tasty stuff.
The third course (I believe) was a fried shrimp head that was served with uni (sea urchin). This dish was a first for both of us in many ways. I’ve read that people don’t sit on the fence when it comes to sea urchin – you either love it or hate it. Erin managed to be on the fence, enjoying the flavor while admittedly remaining suspect of the texture. To be honest I’m not even sure how the stuff holds together it’s that mushy, but the flavor makes it worthwhile, and it worked here when compared to the crispiness of the fried shrimp to contrast the textures.
It’s possible I’m missing a course, but I think we were offered maki at this point – one containing crab drizzled with yuzu juice garnished with wasabi soaked tobiko, the other containing some kind of tuna (I think, though to be honest I can’t remember what the hell kind of fish it was) with a spicy mayonnaise and micro-cilantro. Since all the rolls are made to order the nori remains fresh and doesn’t become too chewy, hence detracting from the experience like at most other other places I’ve eaten at. These were both pretty tasty.
Next up we were served three different nigiri – hamachi, salmon, yellow jack. Erin was stuffed at this point (she still had two of the rolls left from the previous course) and was unable to consume any of these, though she managed to nibble on a small piece of the hamachi since this is one of her favorite fish of all time. I thought they were all good but was starting to get a little full myself.
The next one was for me only – seared otoro served over rice. Pretty simple stuff but pretty delicious stuff as well. The best part was Rob keeping this course simple and just leaving the otoro alone other than lightly searing it with a blow torch.
And finally we were both served sushi “dessert” that consisted of smoked unagi and rice wrapped in the center with some nori and served with a sweet/smoky soy sauce. This was a nice, robust and flavorful end to the meal I thought.
We sat there for a while longer finishing our beers. After having paid up, the server (who had only been clearing our plates and providing us fresh drinks all night) brought out a proper dessert of carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream.
After about four hours we were finally finished and headed home in a cab, bellies full, snow still falling outside. Additionally, rur meal cost only a fraction of the hundreds it should have. For that I am grateful and hope I can repay in the years to come.
And finally, just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s an article about picky eaters, vegetarians/vegans, etc., and finding love. Is it me or is America just full of assholes who love to tell people how to live their lives? My favorite quote is from a vegan woman who states: “I need someone who is ethically on the same page”. I’m too tired to even comment.