June 17, 2022

Thirteen pieces for Friday

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It's been a while since the four of us had a chance to sit down at the same table. In fact, it's been about 16 months since I had seen a couple of these guys, and this time around we were belatedly marking a special occasion. NC Chung seems to like doing lunch at Sushi Ima (今鮨), so we're back there for a quick meal.

I don't eat sushi often, and I tend to pick very high end places where one sits at a counter in front of an itamae-san (板前さん). Been a while since I last sat at a table away from the counter, and I'm used to watching the pieces being made for me one by one. Yes, consider me jaded. Very jaded.

Potato salad

Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) - not bad.

Chicken grunt (伊佐木) - with a tiny dab of jelly, some laver (海苔), and perilla flower on top. Crunchy skin.

Striped jack (縞鯵) - thick cut and the edges delivered some crunch.

Splendid alfonsino (金目鯛) - it's always tasty when fatty fish gets torched and the fat gets melted, but I don't think it's something that a top edomae (江戸前) itamae would do.

Scallop (帆立貝) - with some shaving of yuzu (柚子) zest along with some rock salt.

Mackerel (鯖) - pretty fatty, a little stronger and more fishy than usual.

Horse mackerel (鯵) - with a dab of what was referred to in Cantonese as "三星漬". Pretty good lah.

Glass shrimp (白海老)

Japanese horsetail (太刀魚) - with a dab of yuzukosho (柚子胡椒).

Akagai (赤貝) - substitute for akami (赤身).

Rosy seabass (赤鯥) - from Kyusu. Substitute for medium-fatty tuna (中トロ). Always tasty.

Broadbanded thornyhead (喜知次) - always tasty, especially when torched.

Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) - flavors slightly heavier than normal, and the color is darker.

Conger eel (穴子)

Finally a bowl of soup

It was fun catching up with old friends, and I must thank NC Chung not just for the treat but also to once again remind me how jaded I am when it comes to dining.

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