Jul 11, 2011 by Sushi Bird
We had a really wonderful dinner when we were in Shimoda last weekend, and here are the pictures to follow.
Beautiful starter with various little dishes, plus umeshu (plum wine) to drink as an aperitif. I actually thought that was quite interesting, because in Europe and US we usually don’t drink that much sweet drinks for aperitifs, no? I am more used to dry Champagne or a dry/bitter cocktail to make the mouth water and your stomach happy and ready for the meal. That being said, the umeshu really worked well with the various starters.
After the starters, incredibly fresh sashimi followed. The fish was almost crunchy because it was so fresh. I normally do not care for fish with silver skin (like saba), but it was just amazingly good here.
After that it was organic, local grown vegetables and dip.
There was one part of the meal that made me think and wonder a little bit. Not about the food itself, I will eat almost anything, but the fact that they put these abalone on the grill, and they were still moving. I tried to remind myself that they are not people and can not feel pain in the same way as humans, but I still have some issues seeing things being grilled/eaten alive. It is quite silly, I mean that if I am eating the food – I should also deal with and handle to see how these creatures cease to be. I think I, like most other people, prefer to not know and not think about it, and go on with my life without considering where the food came from. It was quite interesting to observe my own reaction, and to measure if maybe, just maybe I enjoyed this part of the meal less because I could see where it came from originally. The dish was good. I suspect I think I would have thought it was even better if it had come already grilled and ready on my plate. I don’t want to make this into an ethical discussion or debate, I just wanted to share my thoughts. I know quite a few people who are reading here are vegetarians or vegans (and I absolutely respect that) and have very strong feelings about what food to eat and what food not to eat. I’ve had my own fair share of experience with vegetarianism and veganism, but at this point in my life I am not vegetarian nor vegan. (That being said, I do not consume a lot of meat on a daily basis.)
And this little guy was bitter! It was quite good, but getting used to the bitterness took a bite or two.
So when the palette cleanser came along it was perfect to clear the mouth of the previous course, and get ready for… even more food(!)
We had a delicious nabe with cooked fish and vegetables.
After the fish was cooked in the nabe and served to us, rice was put into the same nabe with the broth from the fish and cooked, it made a delicious rice soup.
Finally, it was all-you-could-eat-dessert-buffet. However, I do not especially like sweet things (I gave up on eating desserts and chocolate and most sweet things two years ago), and after a couple of weeks away from that and daily coke, and no longer crave sweets and I actually do not like the taste of most cakes and candy. That being said, I picked three little dessert things, and the one with the red top was actually really nice, it was almost acidic and tasted like a fresh cheese cake. The other two were really nice as well, but to sweet for my taste. I am sure that if you are into cake and sweets you would have loved them though, wonderful nuttyness from the yellow cake and a sweet (real) strawberry taste from the pink blob in the back.