Friday, May 1, 2009

Introducing Komochi-Kombu

Some of the tastiest sushi rolls in Japan that I experienced (aside from the bar-roasted mackerel) actually came from the eatery inside the Oedo-Onsen Monogatari, a Japanese bath house and spa. Here, I ordered two hand rolls, one of which was filled with anago (sea eel), tamago (egg omelet), and sweet brown kampyo (gourd); and the other, with Japanese pickles and komochi-kombu, which I had never even heard of till now. It’s described on the menu as “tangle with herring roe,” or a union between herring eggs and dried kombu seaweed. For some reason, I never did like herring sushi—too fishy, or something—but the roe attached to kombu is superb.

And while the sushi at Matsuya Ginza’s Restaurant City (that is, the name of the food court on the eighth floor of a fancy department store called Matsuya Ginza) may look impressive, I didn’t find the crab sushi that I consumed to be so grand. After peeling the plastic wrap off each individual piece, I found the crab to be mediocre, and the rice sort of bland. Deciding on the crab roll had been tough—they vie for your business like nobody’s business on this food-filled floor of the building; vendors hand toothpicks of sample bites to passerby—try our mentaiko, our uni sauce, our deep-fried cheese-ball, they plead. Truly a food lover’s heaven.

Next blog: Sushi in Hong Kong

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