Thursday, April 10, 2014

Give It To Me Raw and Wriggling!

There are all sorts of things I could tell you about my trip to Tokyo, but at this point I’d like to tell you why it’s a good thing I didn’t go til now.  I’ve mentioned before that I was slightly sushi-phobic up until last spring.  Now I actually crave it and eat it once a week, but until last year this was not the case.  On this trip I ate ramen and shabu-shabu, and I had breakfast at Macca’s every morning (because hell yes I ate brekke at Macca's every morning!), but the highlight of every day was finding a kaiten sushi (the kind with a conveyor belt) restaurant and feasting on some fresh, raw fish.
My first place was a chain restaurant and I LOVED it!  It's called Genki Sushi and features a little angry face in its logo.  This was ironic, since I was wearing a big happy face when I left there.  They had the regular conveyor belt - as pictured above, on which the little plates would go around that you could choose from.
They also had a high-tech ordering system which totally intimidated me, while at the same time I admired it.  The touch screen above was where you found and ordered what you were looking for.  The printed menu kind of helped in figuring out what you were looking for, and they had instructions for it in English, but everything on the screen was in Japanese.  Even so, it still wasn't that hard to figure out, and I definitely used it to order my kappa maki (cucumber rolls).
The second and third places I found were near Ueno Park, which was the area I stayed in.  They weren't nearly as high tech - if you wanted something and you didn't see it, you told the chef what you wanted, and they made it and handed it to you.  Again, this required a little Japanese, but I've eaten enough sushi by this point to know how to ask for my two favorites tamago and inari sushi (egg and tofu).  I also ate salmon and at least two other kinds of fish off the belt, though I'm not sure what they were.
Normally the chefs will make up a bunch of the same thing all at once.  Most plates run between 100-300 yen, although the price depends on what they are.  These had - I think - three different levels of fattiness of the tuna, with a big chunk of egg in the middle, and were 600 yen, or about $6.  Most of them have some sort of plate system - different colors of plates cost different amounts.  My favorites are all relatively cheap, so this was a great, quick way to have dinner, if not particularly conducive to a nice leisurely read (which is okay, because I didn't bring my Nook with me).

However - a word of warning.  If you're doing kaiten sushi, you need to go to a busy restaurant.  It's no good if the same plates are going around and around and never being eaten - remember, this is raw fish we're talking about.  In Tokyo, kaiten sushi's the best!  In Mongolia...well, sushi in Mongolia is a sketchy proposition anyways.  Do yourself a favor and don't set yourself up for food poisoning.  Not that I've known anyone who got food poisoning from Nagomi, but I don't want to be the first.

No comments:

Post a Comment