Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Talk Sushi.

Sushi has been the fad for years.  Prior to last weekend, I had never had it.  Why, you ask?  Because I couldn't quite wrap my head around consuming raw fish.  The very thought of it weirded me out.  I have several friends who love sushi, so I had promised that I would eventually get over my mental block and we would use my gift card to SakiTumi. Last weekend, I had sufficiently prepared myself to give it a shot.  I took L with me, and was sure to ask for her input before I ordered anything.

After checking out the menu, we decided we'd each get a roll, and then order something else if we were still hungry.  So many things looked good to me, but since I can't eat shrimp, there were a few things that I was able to eliminate right off the bat.  As a side note, a shrimp allergy sucks.  Shrimp seems to be the go-to seafood for every restaurant, and sometimes it's really hard to find a dish that doesn't contain shrimp.  While I can technically order things with shrimp and then pick them out, that always seems to defeat the purpose. Plus I don't particularly relish the idea of missing a piece and ending up sick.

Anyway.  L decided to get her favorite, the Spicy Tuna Roll, and I went with the Charleston Roll (blue crab, avocado, green onion, and Japanese mayo).  Here's where it gets tricky.  Everything tasted good.  The fish was perfect.  The wasabi and ginger served with each roll were excellent.  But I'm still not a fan.  I just don't understand sushi.  In all honesty, I felt like I was eating a big ball of rice.  If I wanted to do that, I'd make rice and home and save myself some money.  The rice just overpowered everything.  L's roll was a little less like that, so maybe I just need a stronger fish, but still.  I could barely taste anything but rice.  And before anyone jumps on me, I tried it with soy sauce, without soy sauce, with wasabi, without wasabi, with ginger, without ginger, and with every combination thereof.  The meal just didn't excite me.  And, though I was pretty full after  I finished (we didn't end up ordering anything else), I was starving and rummaging through my kitchen looking for food about two hours later.

This is by no means a poor reflection on SakiTumi.  I actually loved the restaurant - the atmosphere was cool and laid back and our server was great.  I'd be happy to go back, but I'd probably skip the sushi and order something from the grill instead.

My guess is that I'm doing something wrong.  So many zillions of people love sushi, but I just don't understand the point.  Someone explain it to me.  Do I need to order something different, or do all sushi rolls have an overwhelming rice taste?  Would a stronger fish help?  I'd be willing to try again, but I'm going to need some guidance.  Tell me your thoughts - best places for sushi (and if anyone says Japan, he/she had better be willing to pay for my trip there), best things to try, proper way to eat it (with or without soy sauce/ginger/wasabi), etc.  Help this Hungry Lady out.

No actual rating for SakiTumi, because I don't think it's fair to judge them based on the fact that I don't understand the food.  If I go back and try again, I'll review.

In the meantime, you can check out SakiTumi on Facebook, Twitter, or on the web.

Saki Tumi Grill & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I adore sushi, but it certainly takes a great sushi roll to make one a fan. The big thing about sushi I like is that it is a great vehicle for flavor combinations. Different fish have different textures and tastes, some sweet, some mellow. Your average sushi will combine the fish with something like avocado and create a really simple, almost appetizer like taste. It's, imo, hard to convince people on sushi with these.

    It's when you try the specialty rolls - which I recommend most - when chefs start combining several flavors together to create a unique experience. The combination of sweet, salty, sour with various textures like soft, crunchy, chewy, crispy, etc. makes sushi exciting I feel. You can compare it to something from Copper and Vine or whatnot, a small plate with interesting plays on flavor.

    For Columbia, try Inakaya or Sakura and splurge for a specialty roll along with a normal roll and see how you like it. Also try mixing around with the various condiments to find something that suits your taste.