Considering that Restaurant Murata was highly recommended by other sushi chefs, and that its front window practically flaunts its awards and accolades which extol it as "Top 100" and "The City's Best," I was utterly dumbfounded that the sushi rice was completely lacking in flavor. Sushi rice, one of the key elements to delicious sushi, should be properly seasoned with the right mixture of vinegar, sugar and salt. The resulting rice should be aromatic, sweet and savory, not so plain that it begs the question, Is this just regular white rice?
Thwarted by the sushi rice in my otherwise delicious hand roll with real crab, I ordered the Fresh Oysters in Ponzu Sauce for $9.95, and was glad I did. Although they were served in a bowl of cold goopiness with green onions and spicy pickled radish (without their pretty shells, aesthetics be damned), these oysters were opalescent, and rife in richness and taste.
Although the solemn chefs at the this traditional restaurant seemed oblivious to their bland sushi rice, they probably get away with it due to the cluelessness of the patrons, who perhaps just don't know any better. After all, this city is not known for its sushi, and many diners here seem more concerned with quantity than quality.
200 SW Market St., Portland, OR