Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sushi: Done Right

I've eaten a lot of raw fish since stepping off the plane, but I just can't get enough. Maybe I have some sort of Mercury addiction. While the downsides of this are cancer and a much longer waiting time at airport security checks, knowing the temperature and eating a lot of damn fine tuna are at least within spitting distance of a reasonably good trade off.

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And the odd tentacle isn't so bad either.

In any case, probably the best place for choppedup chunks of top-o-the-food chain mercury collectors (aka "maguro" or "tuna") is a little joint called "Midori Zushi". Let's just say that it's good enough that I'm not worried about spoiling your appetite with the potential health hazards of Tuna.

I wrote about this shop back in August, but I've taken a few more trips and managed to snag a few more pictures, so it's definitely worth another bout.

There are several locations around the city, including Shibuya and Futakotamagawa, but the flagship store in Umegaoka is still the best. (Umegaoka is about ten minutes or so west of Shinjuku on the Odakyu Line... directions below).

The plastic food out front is enticing but not extraordinary, and in terms of decor, all three places are nice, but not mind boggling. The service actually bordered on slow a few times, but after eating one dish, I'm as likely to bitch about waiting in line to see Cameron Diaz Mud Wrestling Angelina Jolie. **

I mean, it's not like the chef-to-cutting board space ratio is all that bad.
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You see, buck toothed Jehovah's witnesses with unibrows could serve this sushi in an alley decorated with busts of Tucker Carlson, and I'd still eat there three times a week.

But don't take my word for it. Check out these massive cuts.

The "Ultimate Fatty Tuna" is on the left. Midori sells sushi by the plate or by the individual piece. Each of those goes for about 400 yen ($4), and I don't question the value for a moment.
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More Salmon.
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A lot more Salmon!
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The rolls they make are huge... about the same diameter as a can of coke.
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My absolute strongest recommendation, however, is the "blowtorch platter". One piece each of Salmon, Cuttlefish (aka Squid EDIT: ok, it's not all that related to squid, but it has freaking tentacles, and it's freaking delicious. Eat it. ), and Shrimp, Scallops and Tuna. Roasted to bring out the fatty flavour, it melts in your mouth like no culinary cliche I've ever tasted.

Put it this way: given my violent loyalty to unadulterated, still-flipping-raw fish, you can only imagine how "bloody" good this platter has to be for a COOKED dish to take the top spot.
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Sorry that all the pieces aren't in the pic, but... let's just say that my taste buds beat out my camera/bloggind instinct.

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Added bonuses!

1) They sure as hell aren't stingy about the Wasabi!

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2) The Chefs are all willing to mack on girls at the bar!

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/Check out the dude on the left, who totally just lost the "grenade" draw.

3) At least 50% of you stumbled across this site while looking for porn! I'm proud of you for reading the whole post! I took a peek at the referral list, and the number of people googling for some sort of Japanese Fuckfest astounded even my dirty mind. And now that I've included "Japan Fuck Fest" (with both spelling variations), the word "coke" as well as a bit about Cameron Diaz Mud Wrestling Angelina Jolie (twice), I can pretty much guarentee that MORE than 50% of you were looking for some sort of filthy awful porn. I'd like to apoligise to most of you for ruining your excitement. Still, if you're reading this, your probably hungrier than you are horny.


From Umegaoka station, head out the entrance on your left (the one with McDonald's, and yes I am aware of the irony of using a McDonald's to give directions to what might be one of the greatest sushi restaurants in the world). Turn left and follow the road to the first intersection, and take the road that turns 45 degrees to your right. Continue down the road for about thirty or forty metres, and just look for the large crowd of people waiting in line. That's the restaurant. Er... or you could use this map.

Head north out of Futakotamagawa Station on the Tokyu Line (again, towards McDonalds...). Cross the street and head to your right towards the Takashimaya department store. (er, the Red one) It's up in the food court on the fourth or fifth floor. Just ask for directions or read the signs once you get to the Department store. Look for the lineup of people.

From Hachiko statue, head across the street towards the entrance to the Keio line. (If you don't know where this is, stand looking into the eyes of the Hachiko statue. Then cross the street immediately behind it - the crossing is a bit to your left). There is a huge department store called "Shibuya Mark City". Midori is on the fourth floor. Yup. Line up. McDonald's is downstairs if you want to earn a shitload of bad karma after eating at what might be the greatest bang-for-your-buck sushi restaurant in the world.

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