Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

A Local Sushi Shop in Niigata


Hiroyuki
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently got to know a local, traditional (i.e., non-conveyor belt) sushi shop run by an owner-and-chef, his wife, and his mother. I made a second trip to it with my children to have lunch today.

From the lunch menu, my son selected "nigiri zushi":

gallery_16375_4595_106074.jpg

7 pieces (maguro (tuna), shiromi (white fish), ika (squid), tamago (Japanese rolled omelet), ebi (shrimp), tobikko aka tobiko (flying fish roe), and inari (fried bean curd)) plus 1 roll

1,050 yen

(Note that in the photo, ikura (salmon roe) is used instead of tobikko.)

My daughter selected "kani kaisen bara chirashi":

gallery_16375_4595_132761.jpg

A bowl of vinegard rice with assorted fish and seafood including crab meat.

1,050 yen

I selected "maguro sanmi don":

gallery_16375_4595_26153.jpg

A bowl of vinegard rice with three different types of maguro (tuna): zuke maguro (marinated tuna), chu-toro (medium fatty tuna), and negi toro (fatty tuna with chopped green onion)

1,380 yen

All set meals include miso soup, salad, chawan-mushi (Japanese egg custard)

gallery_16375_4595_63808.jpg

and coffee (served after the end of the meals)

gallery_16375_4595_90980.jpg

All I can say at this point is that all the lunch meals are very reasonable and the "maguro sanmi don" and the "nigiri zushi" (which I had on my first visit there) were fresh and tasty. I will definitely go back to that shop some day, at night, take photos of all the nigiri I will order, and post them here, along with comments. In fact, I'm very excited to do so. I'm especially eager to have all the fish and seafood sent directly from Sado Island.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for those pictures. Its nice to have an authentic standard for comparison when Japan is 2500 km away.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiroyuki,

I am so hungry now! Thanks for the report, now I wish I could teleport there. I am a little afraid to try sushi here in Southern Germany, but maybe sometime soon I will gather my courage and try. :rolleyes: WOW your son does have a large appetite, but then again he is a growing boy. :smile:

I might have to make some chawan mushi. Yum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for their replies.

My son finished off his meal with no problem, except the ikura nigiri, which he doesn't like and gave to his sister. He got some crab meat from hers, and I did, too! My son still cannot stand wasabi, so I asked the chef to make his wasabi-free (sabi-nuki in Japanese).

As for my daughter's, I asked the chef to reduce the amount of vinegared rice (shari). I didn't specify how much, though. She couldn't finish it off, so I had the rest. Her dish is also wasabi-free.

No one seemed to have noticed the shape of the wasabi in my maguro don. It's leaf-shaped. Isn't it cool?

I don't think coffee at the end of a lunch meal is anything special, even in a traditional sushi shop. My daughter had cola and my son orange juice because they still cannot drink coffee.

Can't wait to try all the fish and other seafood sent from Sado Island, especially awabi and all sorts of white fish that the chef boasts of.

For those of you who are not familiar with Sado Island, click here.

milgwimper: So, you are in Germany! I didn't know that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son still cannot stand wasabi, so I asked the chef to make his wasabi-free (sabi-nuki in Japanese).

There are still some days i prefer to have sushi w/o wasabi and i assure you i'm older than your son most likely ;)

Over here in the US, in regards to the coffee, i think it is a bit unorthodox; atleast my friend on a number of occasions (major coffee lover) was told that they don't serve coffee at the restaraunt lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful tasty looking meals and excellent value @ ¥ 1,050.

A price comparison-here in Vancouver I paid about ¥ 900 for a small bowl of Green Beans Goma-ae, 2 Inari and a Yam Tempura roll from Fuji Ya all premade and selected cafeteria style and eaten sitting @ a grubby counter elbow to elbow.

Edited by Sam Salmon (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again everyone for their respective comments.

I'd like to make one very important clarification before I go to bed: While it's very easy for a kaiten zushi (convenyor belt sushi) restaurant to offer similar lunch meals in similar price ranges, it's probably insulting to the chef of the traditional sushi shop to make any comparison between his creations and those offered by a kaiten zushi restaurant. For example, I was amazed at the size and quality of the asari (a type of clam) in the miso soup, and remarked, "They are domestic ones, aren't they?" The chelf replied immediately, "Yes, they are from Aichi (in Japan)." In many, if not all, kaiten zushi restaurants, they serve imitation ikura, imitation negi toro (made of low-quality lean tuna (akami) and vegetable oil), and other imitations called daiyo gyo (lit. substitute fish).

I hope I can make another trip to that sushi shop some day next week and report back, hopefully with lots of photos!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

does he use soy sauce from sado island as well? it is some of the best soy sauce I have tried.

Oh, is it? I will ask the chef the next time I visit there.

it might be Shodo shima. too many islands to keep track of :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiroyuki, that is one sensational-looking lunch. If my online currency converter is correct, the price (1050 yen) is less than $10 US. That's simply amazing. In my area, if one were lucky enough to find a sushi restaurant serving such meals, the price would likely be at least four or five times that amount.

I noticed the leaf on your lunch, but I did not realize that it was wasabi until you pointed that out.

I am inspired to find sushi for lunch today, although sadly I know that what I will find will be vastly inferior to your meal. :sad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for their replies.

My son finished off his meal with no problem, except the ikura nigiri, which he doesn't like and gave to his sister.  He got some crab meat from hers, and I did, too!  My son still cannot stand wasabi, so I asked the chef to make his wasabi-free (sabi-nuki in Japanese).

As for my daughter's, I asked the chef to reduce the amount of vinegared rice (shari).  I didn't specify how much, though.  She couldn't finish it off, so I had the rest.  Her dish is also wasabi-free.

No one seemed to have noticed the shape of the wasabi in my maguro don.  It's leaf-shaped.  Isn't it cool?

I don't think coffee at the end of a lunch meal is anything special, even in a traditional sushi shop.  My daughter had cola and my son orange juice because they still cannot drink coffee.

Can't wait to try all the fish and other seafood sent from Sado Island, especially awabi and all sorts of white fish that the chef boasts of.

For those of you who are not familiar with Sado Island, click here.

milgwimper:  So, you are in Germany!  I didn't know that!

Yup I just moved here recently from California so everything is new, exciting, baffling, fustrating, and wonderful wrapped up into one ball. :smile:

I love seafood! I guess I really shouldn't feel too bad eating sushi here although I just can't figure out what place has good sushi. So it will be trial and error for now. :unsure:

I can't wait for your next report! Thanks. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, it must be Shodo Island (小豆島), not Sado Island (佐渡島). :biggrin:

kbjesq, is your converter correct? In this mom-and-pop sushi shop, they offer a lunch menu at those low prices to attract customers, hoping that they will come back some day at dinnertime, when they can serve sushi and other dishes at profitable prices. In Japan, this strategy is not unique to this shop.

They don't serve those lunch meals at dinnertime, but if they did, they would have to charge one and a half to twice as much for each to make them profitable. Again, it's not meaningless to compare sushi served in traditional sushi shops with that served in kaiten zushi (conveyor sushi) restaurants.

milgwimper, aren't there any eGullet members you can rely on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

imitation negi toro (made of low-quality lean tuna (akami) and vegetable oil)

Seems to be getting worse over the past 2-3 years - I turned over a packet of particularly strange looking "negi toro" maki at a supermarket once, and the list of ingredients included gelatin and beef fat. :biggrin:

OK, thanks. I wish I could replace the :biggrin: smilie with a :sad: .

I previously posted two photos of sushi meals that I had in a local kaiten zushi restaurant here. Note that I made a mistake there. The sushi and ramen set is 840 yen, not 830 yen.

In general, in a traditional sushi shop, you need to pay about twice as much as you would in a kaiten zushi restaurant, for the same amount of sushi. For example, if you order the akami (lean tuna), chu-toro, and o-toro in this mom-and-pop sushi shop, you have to pay 250 + 400 + 600 = 1,250 yen, as opposed to 520 yen in that kaiten zushi restaurant. But I'm sure the difference in quality is noticeable.

Edited to add: I had o-toro and maguro (lean tuna) on my first visit to that sushi shop), besides the "nigiri zushi" set.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiroyuki, I know that you like to compare things (so do I). For this reason, I took a picture of my lunch and my partner's lunch yesterday. Your pictures made me very hungry! We dined at a small, but typical sushi restaurant in my area (east coast of Florida).

I ordered a "Green Dragon Roll", which has eel, avocado and eel sauce. The cost is $9.95 US, which I think is about 1,135 Yen, and no side dishes are included.

gallery_51874_4337_992103.jpg

Closeup of the dragon's face (the eyes are octopus tentacles):

gallery_51874_4337_1188388.jpg

My partner ordered a "Teriyaki Salmon Lunch" which included the items pictured, plus miso soup or salad, for $12.95 US, which I think is approximately 1,475 Yen. Usually the salmon is grilled, but for some reason, it was fried in this meal. [Edited to add: note in the lower right corner are four pieces of "California Roll," which is a very common item in sushi shops around here. It contains imitation crab meat, avocado and cucumber, and is always served inside out (so the nori is inside the rice). This is very popular in the US, for reasons that are entirely lost on me.]

gallery_51874_4337_313753.jpg

Edited by kbjesq (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiroyuki,

I'm immensely heartened to see such a nice meal for such reasonable prices.

I notice the salads had what looked like 1000 isles dressing on them. Is this the "dressing of choice" for most restaurants? I'm wondering as I noticed that most of our meals in Korea also came with a lot of mayonaise on the salads (and fruit).

Cheers,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gallery_51874_4337_1188388.jpg

My partner ordered a "Teriyaki Salmon Lunch" which included the items pictured, plus miso soup or salad, for $12.95 US, which I think is approximately 1,475 Yen.  Usually the salmon is grilled, but for some reason, it was fried in this meal.  [Edited to add: note in the lower right corner are four pieces of "California Roll," which is a very common item in sushi shops around here.  It contains imitation crab meat, avocado and cucumber, and is always served inside out (so the nori is inside the rice).  This is very popular in the US, for reasons that are entirely lost on me.

Teriyaki in and of itself is a style of cooking whereby you bring the "sheen" out of the item you are cooking by the inclusion of sugar into the sauce that is used (soy sauce based). However, in the US, I would venture to guess that 9 out of 10 "Japanese" restaurants do not serve what's "deemed" as teriyaki in Japan. Rather, most places just dump teriyaki sauce (which aside from sugar/soy sauce share nothing in common with what's used as teriyaki sauce in japan) over something that's broiled. In the US, "teriyaki" is "teriyaki". There's no other way to spell it really for the most part. Within the native Japanese culture over here in the US, (and to an extent I've seen it in Japan too), there's a distinction made between the 2. Teriyaki in the traditional style is written as 照り焼き in kanji, whereas just dumping foreign sauce onto the item is written as テリヤキ in katakana.

The main reason for the US based sauce is, imho, because it's more palatable to those of the culture here...as a product in Japan, though, it might have some following, but i'm sure it's more of a cult thing than anything else; atleast that's what my relatives have said in the past when they've visited...I'm sure Hiroyuki can chime in whether that's true or not :P

Likewise, going into the whole California Roll thing, it's popular because it's probably one of the most palatable sushi rolls available in the US. While anecdotal, a lot of people see eating raw fish as a challenge...whether it be because it's a foreign concept or the scent is too offensive or the rice is too vinegary, i'm not sure what it is. However, avocado and cucumber are widely consumed in the US and imitation crab meat I don't think is too foreign, when compared to sashimi either. So the entry into eating sushi is much easier for a first time consumer and usually the first time is usually the most memorable I would think :P Hence the popularity of the CA roll. (i hate that thing lol)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is one basic reason for the popularity of the California roll: It contains no raw fish or other "challenging" ingredients.

I actually like a California roll when it doesn't feature the usual hallmarks of bad sushi outside of Japan: gummy/overcooked rice, long grain rice, or excessively vinegared rice. (I also draw the line at teriyaki sauce.) In fact, at many North American restaurants that use neta of mediocre quality, the California roll may be the only sushi item with at least some consistent quality.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, thanks kbjesq for providing nice contrasts to my traditional Japanese sushi meals. I do like comparing things, just like everyone.

Did you actually like your meal? Did you want to have more fish than other ingredients?

I'm sure the chef of the mom-and-pop sushi shop will be very interested in American versions of sushi.

Peter Green, yes, it's thousand island dressing. It's quite popular here in Japan, along with French dressing and mayonnaise. Personally, I'd like to put dressing by myself, but the dressing was already there when the meal was served.

And, I prefer non- or low-fat Japanese-style dressings like aojiso (green perilla leaf) dressing.

rykomatsu, I understand that by teriyaki, American mean a different thing.

Here is an explanation of teriyaki in Wikipedia, in which it says:

Many bottled "teriyaki" sauces in other countries are actually versions of the spicier Korean bulgogi sauce, which contains the aforementioned ingredients[citation needed]. Grilling meat first and pouring the sauce on afterward is another non-traditional method of cooking teriyaki.

In Japan, teriyaki is so simple, just add one part soy sauce and one part mirin together. For more on teriyaki, click here, where nakji talks about her experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...