Author Topic: Sushi  (Read 1762 times)

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Offline TylerDurden

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« on: October 21, 2011, 09:59:38 pm »
8:26PM BST 20 Oct 2011
A modern man, I am lunching at my desk before my shimmering Apple iMac, upon whose screen these words are now hesitantly appearing. Or, I should say, appearing between mouthfuls of uncooked salmon and rice stickily cooked in vinegar. Wait! There may also be some daikon mooli down there somewhere. Let’s hope I don’t spill any soy and ginger over my beautiful white mouse.

These morsels, with obligatory edamame, or what Mrs Beeton would have called “beans”, are brought to my keenly expectant mouth by Tang Dynasty chopsticks. But I am not in Yokohama or Kobe, rather Soho. Mind you, I could also be in Leicester or Tewkesbury. It all comes in a neat package from Pret-a-Manger with assurances from owner Julian Metcalfe that his company has no truck with chemicals or unnecessary additives. That is because we are modern men and Japanese food seems right for us. My father spoke, without irony, of a pie and a pint as an inspirational lunch. Where would you now go to find such a calorific and congesting thing? When I was a student, we would go out for lethally indigestible curries. Now, my son and his music industry friends sit on tatami mats and slurp ramen and sip sake when they have a deal to celebrate.

Is Japanese food taking over the world? Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, with his celebrity endorser Robert de Niro and Prada-blackened groupies in tow, now has Nobu restaurants in Los Angeles, London, Athens, Mykonos, the Bahamas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Perth, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Tokyo, Cape Town, St Moritz and Budapest.

But it is actually more persuasive than that. Britain has Itsu and Yo! and Wagamama. The tsunami of sashimi has crashed even into the West Country: it is no surprise at all to read that there is a teppanyaki restaurant in Cirencester. Wasabi-flavoured nuts are sold in filling stations on the A1. And while the British loathing of freshness was institutionalised in fish and chips, where your innocent cod was punitively deep fried in a coat of unyielding crunchy batter so as to limit any exposure to marine flesh, supermarkets today all stock sushi. Or what we used to call “raw fish”.

Several things are going on here. This week’s news that Japan now has more restaurants awarded three stars than France (29 as opposed to 25) by the rigid yet fickle Michelin Guide Rouge is mostly evidence of the fatigue, apathy and lethargy which have lately crept into French cuisine and restauration. Three stars, in Michelin’s classic definition, means “vaut le voyage”. Clearly, you would have to be an epicure with unusual resources or with a strange psychological disorder to make a dedicated journey from Paris to eat the Guji No Sakayaki
 at Nakamura in Kyoto, but the point is a more general one: what Michelin finds in Japan is what Michelin has lost in France.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.


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