Return of The Sparrow

つつめ Restaurant

March is here, already its March. The weather is very unpredictable with long warm spells melting all the white followed by days of snow dumping to rebuild the mountains. Overall it is gradually dripping away though, the snow line lowers and lowers regardless of the dumps, two steps forward, one step back.

Spring is in the air every other day which makes it easy to jump the gun and head for the bike in the shed but the snow queen is still lurking for sure. When spring really does arrive I think it will be the most excited I have ever been for a season. Living in a place where each season is so extreme makes you constantly long for the greener grass/ whiter snow that lie’s ahead. I barely used to notice trees blossoming in Ireland but it’s all that anyone talks about here. When will the blossom bloom????Watch this tree.

 Last weekend myself and Atsushi returned to the ‘つつめ’ (Sparrow) Restaurant. This is where I had my first experienced with the ‘Shirako’ so the nerves where high, (the stuff is everywhere its haunting me even in my sleep). This time it came sneakily concealed as tempura, heartbreaking as tempura is my all time favorite. I lashed it into my mouth before I had realized what it was, sure enough the slimy explosion got its usual body squirm reaction. I do apologies to Japanese people, it’s nothing against their cuisine, I’ll pretty much eat any other food from this glorious county but this is just not swallowable for me. I have eventually worked up the courage to tell Atsushi ‘It’s really difficult for me to eat it, it’s nice, but my mouth is just not used to it’ thankfully he adores it so I donate it after the compulsory first bite.


Tempura Shirako



Tempura Shirako


This meal was pretty much all raw fish, newly experienced ‘Fugu’ which is puffer fish was a bit strange all right. It is so light and delicate to lift but actually rather muscly and stringy when you chew it. Atsushi made me eat his because he had taken my Shirako, generous man but one plate of it would have been enough for sure, (wish Japanese people where more greedy sometimes!) Whopper oyster was amazing once I got over the fear of putting it in all at once. I am so glad I had watched uncle Len wolf these on many occasions in Lahinch, it gave me the courage I desperately needed! Len you champ!


Puffer Fish


We started with the sea slug again here, but I just ate it as quick as I could once it arrived (no time for the camera), I needed to get it down asap before I had time to think about the ridiculous chewing. Took an entire beer to wash down every chew.











Sushi with Atsushi


We finished at Aomori’s famous Gyouza Bar, it was claimed by a food critic that these are the best Gyouza not only in Aomori but in Japan. Would not argue with that at all. They are like a garlic explosion so if you don’t like garlic don’t go anywhere neaar the perimeter of this place! Blow your mind kinda garlic gyouza!



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