As you know, KC, I’ve been making perogies this week for tomorrow’s big perogy party. I’ve also been eating them for supper for the last two nights. Much as I love perogies (I could probably eat them every day if I had to, in some sort of desert island-related scenario), I felt it was time for a protein break.
I went to Kyoto Japanese Cuisine (southside, across the street from the Garneau Theatre), long my favourite Japanese restaurant in town. I’ve been going there since they opened many, many years ago in the tiny space that’s now Phobulous. I usually have no trouble getting a seat at the large sushi bar, even on a busy Friday night.
Feeling a little braindead, I was just going to order my fallback – a bento box with sushi, sashimi and tempura ($18.50) – but when I got to the bar there were two bowls of chirashi sushi sitting on the counter that were so artfully arranged and beautiful I changed my mind.
click to enlarge
Chirashi sushi is a bowl of sushi rice topped with an assortment of sashimi – “lazy” sushi, you could say. The dish that was put before me ($15.50) was brimming with slices of tuna, salmon, saba, scallop, surf clam, ebi, amaebi, octopus, snapper, tamago, tobiko, and a sweet marinated shiitake mushroom cap. It was garnished with cress and fresh shiso leaves and crowned with an enormous deep-fried shrimp or prawn head looking for all the world like a tiny cherry tree! I don’t know if they always present their chirashi this way – none of the other ones I saw this night had one. They must have divined somehow that I adore deep-fried shrimp heads. And yes, for the record, they are completely edible – a crunchy, delectable treat (though probably not for all tastes).
I also had kara-age tofu (deep-fried tofu in ponzu sauce. $5.50)
and cuttlefish tentacles (3.95), fried in the lightest of tempura batters and accompanied by a bright yellow dip that I thought might be hot mustard, but turned out to be mango.
Smiling sushi chefs
It was the perfect antidote to the carb cramming I’ve been doing (the fish was so filling I barely touched the rice).
Tomorrow: Pagan perogies.
Posted by Jean Poutine