Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Breakfast Sushi

Having tired of my usual breakfast fare of carbohydrates, sucrose, dairy products and the odd slab of preserved porcine product, I decided to head off to the Tsukiji Fish Market in search of something different. A 15 minute ride up the Hibiya subway from my hotel landed me Southeast of Tokyo proper. Feeling like the dazzling urbanite I thought I was, I came up from the subway and managed to completely miss the outer market all together. That is no easy trick as missing the outer market is like missing a battleship. I did, however find the rear, working part of the market. The part you are told to stay out of as it is a working market and there are many moving vehicles darting about. I stuck to the periphery to keep out of everyone's way while looking for the much talked about purveyors of Sushi and Sasimi. After taking a couple of pictures of the absolute madness that was swirling around me, I began searching in earnest for breakfast.

I wasn't exactly planning on meeting it before I ate it, however.

As is my wont to do, I walked past a place a few times, working up the gumption to try and go in. That's when the lady standing out front smiled, made a casting motion followed by "reeling me in". How could you decline an invitation like that.

According to the rule book, "English is spoken at all eateries". That these very nice people did not "speak English" might have been a clue that this Brer Rabbit was in the wrong briar patch.
Never the less, kinder people are not to be found in Japan than my hosts and he made one mean sushi plate!

And this was just the start. Two rolls, something we use as bait and fish he took a flame thrower to showed up later. Along with the most amazing Miso soup; I'm usually not a huge fan of Miso but it tasted really good this morning. Now, I've had some pretty darn good sushi in Japan before, the Imperial Hotel has a great sushi bar but it's pricey. This was without a doubt the best sushi I've ever eaten anywhere in my life. The fact that the fish was swimming around blissfully about 20 minutes before it appeared before me might have something to do with it. I ended up with 14 pieces of sushi and when it came time to settle the tab, I owed the establishment 2,100 yen. (With today's lousy exchange rate, $28 USD). I was dumbfounded. I expected a much larger bill. With much bowing and what I'm assuming were promises to return, I left completely stuffed. It was right about then I found out I had been dining in the local working mans joint not the ones advertised in the outer market. Huh, who knew..

A quick word about these little carts that zip so frantically about. They are actually pretty cool. There is a lawn-mower engine mounted in the round thingy over a single, centered front steerable wheel. This makes for a very maneuverable and reasonably fast little cart. And man do they drive 'em like demons! Loaded with fish or other goods they just scream all over the rear market. So much so there are traffic cops directing the flow inside the market.

As I was weaving my way back towards the subway, I stumbled upon the advertised outer market. What a zoo!

I even found a new outlet for Grandpa Smith's knives.

Mean looking son-of-a-gun running the shop though. I got the distinct inpression he knew how to use what he sold...

And the best part. The advertised "English spoken here" sushi shops wanted about double what I had just paid in the workman's lunch bar...

That's about the time I found the sign...Oh well. I'm glad I didn't see it first. I would have missed out on a opportunity to meet some great people. And a fish.

Sushi and green tea are all well and good but this Red Blooded American boy needed a Coke Zero after a meal like that. Next stop:

McDonald's, of course.


Mayor of CrazyTown said...

Don't be surprised if you hear your grand daughter use the phrase, "slab of preserved porcine product." :)