A fantastic Japanese dinner, with my good friend (and Japanese adopted father) Atsushi San was enjoyed last Thursday May 26th at ‘Shirako’ Restaurant in Aomori City, Japan. This may have been one of many wonderful feasts we shared together yet each time is so different, so full of wonders, and every bite is so far from tasting like the last.
The restaurant was quiet on this Thursday night which meant lots of opportunities to chat to the chef, a culinary artist as well as a chef come to think of it. A few visits ago he told me all about the puffer fish he gets from Tokyo with his special license, I got a bit worried when I saw it belly up on the bottom of the tank. Apparently they are very temperature sensitive and the poor guy was too hot so went into semi hibernation.
He told me he was a very happy man as ever time a dish came back from me it is always scraped clean, he said it makes him his happiest. I told him if I could I would also eat the plate, if he had made the plate then I would eat it…let’s hope he doesn’t take me literally and go and make a plate, then of course …I’d have to eat it!
Every time I eat the oysters here the size of them blows me away, they are truly monstrous, my mouth is maybe getting smaller or else the spring oysters are fatter, either way I’ve learnt it’s important to take a huge breath before the big swallow.
It’s become an important tradition to pause before the last hurah. Dishes one through six come consecutively one after the other, sometimes even overlapping, you receive and you eat. In Japan at traditional diners and enkai’s like this you take a pause after the main batch of dishes, this is to allow the food to settle before you finish with a ramen/ soba/ udon hit to fully satisfy the belly and of course a treat as a sweet ‘congratulations you made it’.