I’ve come across many opportunities to eat sushi. When I was young, my family had semi-annual meals with our close family friends at Ginza of Tokyo, what used to be a popular Hibachi restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. We celebrated my mom’s 50th birthday with meal that was prepared privately by Chef Osama “Fuji” Fujita, one of the seven master sushi chefs in the nation and I have also eaten amongst the best sushi trains in Sydney.
What’s a sushi train, you might ask? It’s literally a conveyer belt of sushi that winds throughout the restaurant. Sushi chefs place small plates of fresh sushi on the train that moves past every counter seat. The plates are typically color coded so you know how much it costs; a red plate is $5, yellow is $4, green is $3 and the bill is calculated based on the number and color of the plates that are stacked by your side. Don’t see what you’re looking for? No worries, mate! You always have the ability to place a special order if your favorite plate hasn’t made it past the caboose for a while. Sushi trains are the best! They are seriously the coolest way to eat sushi.
My fascination with the sushi-go-round made me do something I’ve never done before: it was as if something took control of my body. I watched my friend take a yellow plate from the train and stick it in front of me. Thinking he might have misplaced it, I continued to look at the sushi moving round-and-round in the background. Mesmerized, I looked at the black seaweed wrapped around sticky white rice. Florescent green seaweed sprawled over the edges, making the piece of Japanese delicacy look more like a green-haired troll doll than something I’d put in my mouth. But before I knew it, I was dry-heaving from the overwhelming slime and ocean odor that consumed my senses. I couldn’t stop gagging but continued chew – I didn’t have a choice – my friend was holding me down so I couldn’t move, knowing I would escape to the restroom as soon as I had the chance.
It’s safe to say that I strongly dislike sushi. I knew this long before the seaweed sushi episode, though – sushi is just one of those foods that I don’t need to eat to know that I don’t like it.
To me, sushi is the salmonella of fish. I know this debilitating bacteria is commonly caused from poultry, not seafood, but the entire concept is all too similar. I stay away from raw meat in general, just in case. This combined with seaweed, wasabi and fish eggs (gag) are enough to make me avoid Japanese restaurants for the rest of my life.
Okay, that’s a lie – sushi for dinner, you might ask? I won’t decline. I like teriyaki sauce so much I could drink it and beef teriyaki is one of my favorite meals to eat. Tell me we are going to a Japanese Restaurant and I will cancel all my plans. Tell me we are going to a sushi train and I will buy a ticket to Australia so I can sit amongst the sushi touring the tables of the restaurant while I eat my beef teriyaki.
Pickin’ Your Brain:
- Tell me about your first experience trying a new food!