January 16, 2018

Tokyo

FEAST

This might have been my favorite meal of the entire trip, so far, because of the interaction we diners had with Chef Yasuda.  I won't bother ranking each piece of sushi with Licks, and I've mentioned anything I found striking at the time.  I know I'll be back here the next time I'm in Tokyo.

Not photographed due to my overzealousness and elation were (1) shima aji (Japanese striped jack), (2) Norwegian salmon, (3) sea bream and (4) unagi (fresh-water eel).

Sushi Bar Yasuda

Chef Yasuda's Ten Commandments (as I surmised them)

1.  There is no better fish, just different fish.
2.  I don't eat sushi so preparing it remains exciting.
3.  A vast majority of the eel consumed at Japanese restaurants is a processed fish other than eel and comes from a factory in China.
4.  I don't go to Tsukiji Market early in the morning.
5.  I age my tuna several days to allow some of the starch to break down to yield a better flavor and texture.
6.  Sushi preparation changes every 20 years or so due to changes in refrigeration, personal taste and availability of product.
7.  I don't have an assistant; I serve all the sushi myself because you can't teach style, and I want consistency for the customers.
8.  No special sushi knife required.
9.  Maybe 60% of the names given to sushi as captions and in books are incorrect.

10.  I don't have Anthony Bourdain's contact number, so I don't reach out to him when I'm in NYC.

Omakase sushi:

Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns

Yebisu - a wonderful, light lager

Sea bass

Bluefin tuna

Bonito - a member of the tuna and mackerel family

King salmon

Needlefish - an odd-looking creature

Fluke - also called summer flounder

Kampachi - also called Hawaiian yellowtail, I think

King mackerel - usually "fishier" than most other sushi, but delish

Uni (sea urchin) - from Hokkaido, Japan's northern island

Horse mackerel - again, fishy by popular tastes, but excellent texture

Oyster - I don't know from where this came

Red clam - almost always chewy, but that's its nature

Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns

Ebi (shrimp) - cooked and delicious

Sweet ebi - raw and wonderful

Another uni from Hokkaido, silky and creamy goodness

Mackerel - I didn't catch which kind

Sweet ebi - Chef Yasuda gave several of us at the bar a second helping

Snow crab - cooked and sweet, I wonder if it's ever served raw

Miso soup - the best way for me to fight my cold