Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I don't wanna miss you, you are my Shelter."

We decided to go out for dinner after school the other day, despite our exhaustion, to a small Kaiten sushi restaurant down the street from the school. Kaiten sushi 回転寿司 is the kind that comes on small colorful plates carried by a long conveyor belt that stretches along every table. It's known for being cheap (less than 200Y per dish) and not especially high quality, but I don't quite have the sensitive taste buds to know the difference between really good sushi and decent. So I love kaiten sushi - you don't need to know a word of Japanese since you just grab the plates as they come by. You see exactly what you're getting, and you take as much as you want to get full without having leftovers. Calculating the bill is easy since you stack the plates as you go and just multiply at the end. Next to Mongolian Grill-style dining, it's the method that makes most sense to me. We spent 800Y and got full, including dessert and as much green tea as we could drink. It would have been cheaper if I had a better idea of what I would like, but there was a bit of experimentation at first. I grabbed some things off the belt to try before figuring out three dishes I liked, and of course then had to grab another of.

First, something with tuna. My favorite sort of sushi visually, and easiest to pick up and consume, is a little fence of crisp nori seaweed, with rice pressed into the bottom, and then the topping piled high on that. It overflows a little but mostly it's like a cute little sushi-cupcake. Next, something with salmon, of course - I'm a Pacific Northwest girl. Strips of onion, which doesn't seem like a very Asian topping but it worked. And then something on A's recommendation, that was actually cooked, blasted with a little torch (it was very cool to watch the single chef at work, rolling rice and fish together at lightning speeds.) This was rice and crab tied together with a nori belt, and with some kind of cheese melted on top. I was surprised it was real crab - it's almost always fake in America, unless you're rich - and I was surprised how much I liked it. It's not as bland as most fish (except salmon) and it's not as weird-textured as shellfish or tentacled things. And dessert was incredibly delicious coconut pudding, with a little candy leaf on top, mmm.

All in all it was a good night out at a pleasant little restaurant. When you come to visit I'll take you there.

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