Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Sort of Sushi

One thing about my job that I can't complain about is the never-ending desire to eat sushi. I just can't get enough of it. The possibilities are nearly endless—add fish here, sub vegetables there, take away the crab and throw in some freshwater eel too. And don't forget about they style of preparation—let's fry this roll in tempura batter or lets put this one in a soy wrapper. On top of that are the sauces used to dress the rolls up—eel sauce and spicy mayo to name two. At Sushi & Sake, they love the sauces. One of the most popular rolls, the Nob Hill (named after its location in Nob Hill, a popular destination in the downtown area), has all the sauces on it: eel sauce, wasabi sauce, spicy mayo and not to mention that there is Sriracha (the well-known Thai red chile sauce) in the spicy tuna mixture. The Amigo, made with a cream cheese stuffed chile that is fried in tempura, is covered in the wasabi sauce, a chili oil and eel sauce. The sauce is apparently boss. 

I've fallen head over heels for the tempura maki roll. It has a combination of tuna, salmon, and avocado in the center, with rice and nori (seaweed) on the outside. Of course, its dipped in tempura batter and then fried. They throw a few zigzags of eel sauce on top and sprinkle the roll with toasted sesame seeds. Delicious I tell you. The tempura is a nice contrast of the texture from the sticky rice and the soft fish and avocado. Also the slightly sweet flavor of the eel sauce and the lightly salted tempura batter provides a well-balanced background of flavor. I love rolls with that fried component. I'm big on textures–remember, I can't even eat a banana. 

Tonight I had a chance to order roll before I headed home so I asked one of the chefs to surprise me with something that he equally enjoys himself. My only stipulation was that it had to be fried in tempura batter. You see, we have a few of other rolls that are fried but the others are rolled in panko crumbs–I don't like that kind of texture, or at least thats what I've decided so far. He told me that he would make me a 'Multiple Orgasm'. As with anything dealing food, I quickly responded with an 'okay'. I was down. 

When it arrived, I was visually pleased–it was not only fried in tempura batter but it was also toasted in the oven. Yum. It was smothered in spicy mayo and eel sauce and had a toasted sesame seeds on it for the final presentation. I was thrilled. My first bite was bit hard to grab with my chopsticks, but I was victorious. I'm no professional when it comes to chopsticks so I often end up losing half of me piece or experience an avalanche of rice and fish down my chin at the last minute. Neatly nestled in the center were salmon, avocado and cream cheese. The avocado was slightly overripe (or maybe it was just the heat breaking it down), the salmon was at a medium temp and the cream cheese was nice and soft, not so firm like it so often is. 

The flavors were very strong–each one speaking out at the proper opportunity—the cream cheese at first, then the cream avocado, the light earthy, salty flavor of the salmon ending with the sauces, tempura and sweetened rice dancing together on my tongue. It was a 'multiple orgasm' of flavors. So many tastes all in one roll. Next time I may feel ready to try the Nob Hill. One of my co-workers says that its too many different flavors—I think she may be right. I'll have to take baby steps. 

On another note, Kelly's Brewery does not sell growlers. I swung by tonight to grab one for my sister and me but no go. Apparently Nob Hill doesn't allow it. I was thoroughly disappointed. 

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