Monday, October 27, 2008

Sushi Quest, part 1

Australian sushi is different. The two forms most commonly found are either takeaway rolls or trains. The takeaway rolls are great for a quick lunch. They are standard 4 in rolls that haven't been sliced, so you just eat them with your hands and they typically come with a small plastic fish filled with soy. Generally, the only raw fish you'll get in these is salmon and even that is not always available. More often than not, you'll find smoked salmon, cooked tuna and cooked chicken in these rolls. Still for $2.20, it's a bargain, and three of them make a good lunch.

The sushi train is definitely an experience. I had heard of these in the states, yet never seen one there. Small coloured plates of sushi traverse a conveyor belt that runs by your seat. Generally you get standard stock in these: tuna, salmon and prawn nigiri, salmon and avo rolls. A few places get more adventurous: salmon avocado and onion rolls! But most go really heavy on the mayo, which is just sort of gross. Especially considering that neither you nor the servers have any idea how long the sushi is sitting on the belt for. I reckon it's less than a day, but I don't think any thing else can be guaranteed.

I've decided I need real, American-style sushi. A place with a sushi bar, sans conveyor belt. An itamae who makes the sushi to order. Once a week, I'll try a new sushi joint, and post my findings. Invitation is open to any one in brissie interested in trying out some places.

Last night was the first night. I went to Oshin at Adelaide and Creek in the city. When I arrived there was only one other patron. I sat at the sushi bar and ordered tea, edamame and nigiri. They had yellowtail which was exciting cause it's not a staple of sushi bars the way it is in the states. The tea was cold, but the edamame was hot. And the itamae didn't start making my nigiri til I was done with the edamame. Salmon, tuna and yellowtail. Soooooo good. I judge good fish by a few things, but one big test is if I can bite through the fish. I guess before that is, do I need to bite through the fish. These pieces were large, easily two bites. And each piece gave way easily. The tuna was by and far the stand out: dense and rich.

I guess regardless of where I went last night, it would have been the best sushi I've had in brissie, but I think Oshin may be a standout. Next week's pick will have its work cut out.


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