Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I am SO gaijin.

Last week was kind of a doosey. Cookie Monster had his scary experience, both of our cars broke down, and our internet went on the blink. So after an emergency room visit, a bunch of new car parts, and a replacement cable modem I am feeling the hit.

It almost makes me wish that we hadn't gone out to Sushi on the third, but only almost. I've been meaning to blog about it for over a week now and just didn't have the time. (or the internet connection for that matter)

So Friday the 3rd we were going go to Market Street Grill but our plans fell through, so we went to my favorite restaurant instead, Yamato. It was busier than I have ever seen it, which is a good thing, because a lot of times we went and things were pretty slow. More business means that my favorite place will be around for longer.

We were seated in close proximity to a group that was obviously full of first timers. And the sushi expert of the group was new as well, mistaking Yellow tail for Eel tail :). So why we were waiting for our food I listened in on their sushi experience. I know it is rude to eavesdrop but I could hear them better than my wife sitting across from me, they were being kinda loud. The group was rude by American standards and especially rude by Japanese. Those using chopsticks were spearing the fish off from the nigiri and leaving the rice, and spreading it around with the chopsticks. The ladies were cutting the sushi into smaller pieces and then complaining that it didn't hold together.

Gaijin translated literally means barbarian. But has changed in meaning to mean someone who is not Japanese, and has lost a lot(or all) of its negative connotation. A lot of time when someone is being rude, I think or mutter how 'gaijin' that person is. So I mentioned all this to my wife how these folks were acting like barbarians and realized that I was gesturing with my chopsticks. (Gesturing with your chopsticks is about the equivalent of pointing your knife at other people while speaking to them at the dinner table) Turns out I'm the one is who is gaijin, I should have known better.

Even though no one really noticed I was still really abashed, its a good thing I had some sushi coming to console me. But first was the Miso soup. Both of my children LOVE miso soup and can finish a whole bowl of it in addition to their meals. Pretty good for a 3 year old and an 18 month old. They also split some steamed rice, teriyaki chicken and some Tempura veggies. It surprises me how much the kids love miso. Cakes wasn't digging the rice plain (she is a little small to eat a piece of chicken and rice in one bite)so I poured some of the soup over it (a trick I learned from watching Iron Chef) and she yummed it up.

My wife had Teriyaki Chicken and Tempura vegetables, and I ate strictly sushi as usual. First picture is of the Spider Roll.
I gave a piece to my wife before I snapped this picture so the sauce in odd spots on the plate are from me and not the chef. The spider roll is one of my all time favorite rolls, I love the way that the hot soft shell crab tastes in the roll. Forgive the blurry photo of the Flying Fish Roe battleship and the Red Snapper Nigiri, our camera has a hard time at close range. I made the mistake of dipping my first battleship in soy sauce before I realized the roe would already add the right amount of salt. So it was delicious if not a bit salty, the second was spot on with just a small bit of soy on the nori. This was my first experience with the raw red snapper, usually I order tuna, crab, shrimp, Unagi(eel), Yellow Tail, or salmon with variations in the other ingredients of the rolls. Tuna is my absolute favorite. So when I heard some of the tasters on Iron Chef say they preferred snapper to tuna, I was interested. The snapper is indeed very tasty, though I am still not sure that it is better than tuna to my palette. The spicy tuna roll was the highlight of the evening for me. I have heard that you should eat sushi in order of light to dark meat. And I can see why the tuna was so full of flavor it was the perfect way to cap off the evening. Perhaps I should have had the soft shell crab last, but as they were all brought to me at the same time I wanted to eat that whilst it was still warm.

So the sushi trip was well worth it, I learned not to dip my roe into soy sauce, that red snapper is pretty good, and that I'm so gaijin and still have lots to learn. Having lots to learn about your hobby isn't a bad thing, I guess that means I need to go get sushi more often.

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