Japanese cuisine. A tourist perspective

Living in one of the major European cities gives the advantage of being able to taste foreign cuisine not moving quite far from places one frequents on a daily basis. Yesterday, I picked up a friend of mine after work. We went to one of the restaurants within five minutes of walk, quite a poshy one, and ordered some delicious Thai food (at least I think it was Thai in original version). The drink I decided to take was however a glass of the true … Bordeaux white wine. As I never was to Thailand I cannot confirm, whether that what I had to my late dinner was something that a Thai would eat, or some kind of dish invented in Thailand, but adjusted to the European taste. Eating Japanese in my home town is even easier, as the density of restaurants specialising in sushi, and serving some other Japanese dishes is quite high, and definitely higher than those serving Thai food. If I wanted to eat sushi right now, to get to the closest sushi restaurant I needed three minutes of walk, door to door. I can even recall a year or two in my life that sushi was one of my main dishes two or three times a week. I used to work in a office tower, visited daily by numerous food delivering services. A least three of them delivered sushi. But I was never sure whether that what I ate was the ‘true sushi’ or it was some kind of its European version.

Plans that failed already the first day in Japan

So, as I departed to Japan, I was convinced that I would finally eat the true Japanese sushi on the daily basis (at least it was the plan), and that it would be served just round the corner in every place. Already on our first evening I realised that an average izakaya (a kind of a Japanese restaurant and pub in one) does not necessarily serve sushi. Second, I tried (once) sushi that was far worse in quality than sushi I was accustomed to in my home town (unimaginable, in particular that it was served quite close to the Tsukiji fish and sea food market in Tokyo >>>). As far as the rolls are concerned, I was always convinced that they were served with fish, other seafood or vegetables. Contrary, putting meat inside I treated as an European invention. …Till I ordered and tasted rolls with beef and kimchi midst of Tokyo. Fourth, in my opinion the difference between sushi I am accustomed to in Europe in comparison to qualitative Japanese sushi is a lower range of fish arts to choose from. Besides, fish in Europe is a bit more dry than in Japan (probably because of the delivery process). Last but not least, the variety of tasty Japanese food was that huge, that only twice we decided to order sushi, even if I totally skipped tempura meals that I am not a fan of. The only one of our team who was of disadvantage in Japan was a colleague, who was a vegetarian. It was often so difficult to find something eatable for her, that we asked for an additional empty plate and formed dishes for her out of vegetables we had on our plates. 


True Japanese (served in Japan) rolls filled with meat. According to the menu the ingredients to prepare the roll were: grilled beef, kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), sangchu (lettuce), nori (seaweed) and rice, as well as the restaurants original sauce. 

to be continued …