Monday, November 06, 2017

Invader Invader

From the severe look on his face, one would have thought that we'd basically broken into his zen space without his express permission; though I could have sworn we had been pleasantly invited in. It was at that very critical moment of invasion that I wondered whether one of the gleaming sushi knives held in his obviously skilful hands would come flying at us.

Perhaps something lost in translation? Despite the overly polite irrashaimases that greeted us at the unobtrusive door - no doubt muttered by his inconspicuous minions, I wasn't quite so easily fooled since his stern combative demeanour spoke a different story and there was certainly no hint of the world-renowned Japanese hospitality in his deliberately precise, economical actions.

More like a certain sense of the haughty noblesse oblige in allowing a random ignorant peasant to stumble into his sushi palace for a meal. Kindly leave as soon as you are fucking done, domo arigatogozaimashita.

Nope, quite clear it wasn't a kaiten belt sushi store. 

Only much later, we came to realize that the majority of revered sushi chefs; quietly reigning in their concealed hideaways - whether buried in some dark sub-basement of a subway station or cleverly sequestered in a surreptitious nook of a nondescript office building, aren't exactly known for their good humour. Guess silently fuming sushi chef bearing knives didn't become a stereotype for no reason.

No doubt omakase actually means 'you'd better like it or otherwise...' In our colloquial Malay, it sounds a tad like Mother Gives so that's about the same meaning.

Quite an experience but one we didn't quite expect strolling through the streets of Japan. It was quite by chance that we happened upon this unassuming sushi bar, apparently a hidden gem judging by my online search later. Like most sushi places here, the seats were few which gave us the time to just relax and watch the world go by. Once seated, drinks were poured and a plain briefly worded menu cunningly placed right in front of us while the suspicious sushi chef watched us askance.

Since the knives seemed menacingly near right behind him, I figured we'd better start ordering quickly.

Remember what I said about omakase? Well it probably also means gulp it down fast too since the sushi rolls came... quite expeditiously. Though I'll admit the speed of delivery didn't exceed the sheer enjoyment of the moment .. and yes, the excellent food. Each sushi piece specially prepared for us, with instructions in case we looked totally lost. Tuna might not be my first choice anywhere else before but my brief time in Tokyo has certainly made me a true blue advocate.

And yes, I was tempted to play about the wasabi and the random soy sauces but a steely, uncompromising glance from the chef immediately halted me. Really, not even the fluttering geishas could stop me in my tracks with a single look but he certainly could.

One note of advice though - never ever, ever not order in a sushi restaurant. Not even if you've stuffed yourself to the gills with a selection of meats at brunch. Unless you'd prefer to be unceremoniously tossed out, you had better order a nigiri.

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