すずめ (The Sparrow) restaurant was where I enjoyed the first of many un-usual dishes to grace my presence. I have been very lucky to have eaten some fantastic local quisine in Aomori, on Friday I had some strange textures hit my palate.
To start I had sea slug, an extremely rubbery rubbery sea creature, almost like chewing on five rubber bands at once, and raw. I was scared I would choke on it, it was that rubbery but it was nicely pickled and eventually after a solid 10minutes of chewing I washed it down with a few gulps of beer. Thank god for beer. I did not know you could digest rubber bands but here I am alive and well.
Next a small pot arrived, delighted I presumed it was Nabe, my heart went warm at the thought of the cozy soup dish after the stress of the slug. No nabe. It was described as fish eggs, but I think it was actually fish guts, again a rubber outside but this time once you crunched pass the exterior you were met with an explosion of creamy slimy. This has to be the most difficult plate I have experienced so far. I could not handle the creamy bit, it was like an old yop yogurt drink. Thank god it had soup that I could wash it down with, and beer, thank you beer.
Next was a delicious sea shell, lots of garlic and butter and it was beautifully roasted. The flavor of this was un-believable. Phew.
Sashimi plate was next. This one I usually love so I was happy for its arrival. The only thing that scares me is the slimy prawn, it is just so so goo-y (what I would do even for just a gentle steaming or grilling). The minced tuna on this particular plate was amazing, so tender and full of flavor, gotta love the tuna.
Then came the sushi plate. It included various raw fish slices (on steamed rice) that I cannot identify or translate but enjoy swallowing. Just that wopper of a raw egg at the end, glaring at me as I devour the rest of the plate. The only way it slides down is with beer before, during and after. And heaps of fresh ginger which is a god send. In between the sushi and sashimi I got 3 oysters but living in Ireland prepped me fantastically for this one, they tasted like surfing in Lahinch. The trick is in the lemon. And also another strange sea creature which could not be translated for me, something that crawls along the sea floor apparently, maybe a cuttle fish? I really don’t know, but it was yummy, like a more generous steamed prawn.
Full belly of beer.