All-you-can-eat sushi: a dining experience that encourages you to abandon all good sense and etiquette.
A cuisine that is still just “foreign” enough that many people have not yet explored beyond the maki roll.
A dining format that is clearly North American.
Yes, we are taking a modest cultural cuisine and making it full-on ridiculous.
A proper sushi session ought to begin with a helping of sashimi: the freshest fish, the choicest cut, the delicate flavours and textures. To do justice to such premium product, it is best enjoyed before the taste buds get overworked by the deep fryer and savoury sauces.
Unfortunately, this will not happen in an all-you-can-eat setting, where your friends frantically click every box on the ordering sheet with demands for tempura shrimp, teriyaki chicken and spicy mango tempura rolls right off the bat!
Chaos ensues. It’s every man for himself!
So go ahead – muscle your chopsticks into the fray and take the last deep fried cream cheese and avocado roll. You can always order more! Piling your plate with an ungodly combination of saucy fusion rolls, deep fried clusters and white fish sashimi? No problem! This is about eating as much as you physically can, not about eating properly!
… this isn’t the way sushi was meant to be eaten. But when in North America… well, there is something to be said for stuffing yourself full of sushi with unbridled enthusiasm and so much indiscretion.
Haligonians love their sushi, arguably as much as pizza and burgers, and lately the city has been taken over by the all-you-can-eat craze, with 6 restaurants offering this unique opportunity to overindulge:
Wasabi Asian Cuisine
Ji Xiang Sushi
I’ve been asked whether or not I will tread into sushi territory on this blog, and I figure this is a good place to start.
Let’s set the record straight, though: I am not a sushi expert. Moreover, a sushi expert will immediately tell you to avoid all-you-can-eat sushi at any cost. You get what you pay for, and good sushi is expensive. This is precisely why I’m starting my sushi blogging adventure with all-you-can-eat. There is less pressure on my critical ability and much less pressure on my wallet.
Rather than formally scoring by category, I will be recording my data descriptively and drawing from table discussion/opinions.
Due attention will be paid to the variety on offer, and the fish/rice ratio. I’ll even pretend that I know a thing or two about about judging sushi rice and sashimi.
Atmosphere, service and cleanliness will be considered, as this quest is concerned with the overall experience and not just food excellence (as the latter is not expected to be the forté).
The final considerations will consider value – what did we get for what we paid?
Oh – and if you’d like to come along, the invitation is always open!