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Nelson Dreams of Sushi called Otoro - Part 4

Posted: 12/09/12

Nelson Dreams of Sushi called Otoro - Part 4

Restaurant: Japan Sushi_Tomi

Nelson: The chef has saved the best for last. Of course it is the Otoro - lower tuna belly. Japan grades and then sell individual tuna at auction for many thousands of dollars and one part of that fish, the otoro is the most prized part. It must be consumed fresh and although there are exceptions, Japan is the only place where this can be bought. It is very difficult to get here and also very expensive. I can't imagine how expensive that large chunk or Otoro the chef is holding must cost.

It can be served slightly grilled as my host friend Jeff ordered it, but I wanted mine untouched and in its natural state. I had such high expectations and was highly anticipating this moment, but when I put it in my mouth and tasted it, it exceeded my expectations. Best. Taste. Ever. The texture was like ice cream and very creamy from the high fat content. As a result it literally melts in the mouth just like ice cream, but this was a meaty ice cream with a delicate, pleasant flavour that was indescribably good. This was the best thing I ate in Japan, edging out in my opinion the Kobe beef I had later, although Kitty didn't agree. To me, eating Otoro was an incredible experience that satiated a food lover's dream.

To finish the meal, otoro rolls and blood clam (the outer edge only) rolls were served. Both were good, but I found it harder to taste the individual ingredients. I felt the otoro was perhaps wasted a little in roll form. Bluefin tuna fishing is very controversial as it not a well managed fishery and the demand is insatiable. I'm just reading up on it after the meal, and it is a bit of downer unfortunately.

Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, the chef was quite an entertaining character. Look at the toy model set fashioned after him! To the left is a manga (Japanese comic) by the #2 manga company in Japan featuring the chef! And then, it just so happens, that the writer of the comic had come down and sat beside us!

It was such a privilege to eat this meal and it is one that will stay with me forever. Thank you Jeff and thank you Sushi Tomi. For me, it was the highlight of the trip and an unforgettable meal that will stay in my dreams.


Categories: Fish,  Japanese,  

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