The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sushi at Zanmai, Tokyo

Encouraged by our recent attempt at eating out with a baby, we decided to again try on Sunday, this time lunch at our favourite sushi restaurant in Tsukiji, Sushi Zanmai. I deliberately chose this place because it was relatively nearby (only a 10-15minutes walk), and because it has been awhile since I've eaten good sushi. The last time we came to Sushi Zanmai was when the little guy was only a few weeks old, for my birthday, and my parents were still here in Tokyo to look after Zak while Rob and I shot off on our bikes for a quick lunch. Although we could no longer have the highly-desired counter seats where we could eat freshly-made sushi as we order them, I'm pleased to say that this dining excursion with bub was a success. Although we arrived with a baby in a carrier, we were still asked for our seat preference: counter, table or the tatami dining room on the 3rd floor. We went with whatever was available, so it was off to the 3rd floor where there were quite a few tables of diners with kids (such a sight is rare in Australia: children enjoying sushi). I'm beginning to think that it really isn't so difficult to go out and eat with a baby, and that now is really the time to do it when the baby is still so young and easy to pacify by carrying or feeding, before he reaches the age where he starts grabbing everything within reach, gets restless and can't sit still for more than 2 seconds.

Zak fell asleep on our walk to lunch, and to make eating quick and easy before bub woke up, we ordered the Zanmai Sushi Set where you get 13 pieces of sushi and a bowl of miso for 3000yen. Since we've eaten here countless of times before and I've blogged about it twice before, I won't say too much except to say that the quality was excellent as usual, and I relished every bite of the sushi without shoyu (soy sauce), which is the way I like to eat sushi because I think that's the best way to enjoy the taste and texture of the sushi as presented.

Zanmai Set with Miso soup. There was no detail of what the sushi pieces were, but the following are what I think they were. Top row, left to right: zuwaigani (snow crab), a white-silvery fleshed fish which I don't know the name of, akagai (ark shell), ika (squid), bintoro (pink tuna), kanpachi (amberjack), chuu-toro (medium-grade tuna belly). Bottom row, left to right - joh-anago ('top' conger eel), botan-ebi (spotted shrimp), tamago yaki (egg), me-negi (leek sprouts), ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin roe/gonads):

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