Monday, 06 February, 2006
After work today, our host Mr. Usami took us to Shinjuku where we did a little shopping and had a wonderful sushi dinner I've mentioned here before that I like sushi, but I normally stay with a small selection of dishes that I've discovered I like. I haven't been terribly adventurous with my sushi selections in the past few years. Mr. Usami ordered the special for all of us, which meant that I was presented with things that I normally wouldn't pick. In fact, I had actively avoided some of the stuff. But I was hungry and it would be impolite to refuse. Figuring the worst that could happen was discovering that I didn't like something, I tried everything.
I've always avoided any kind of roe. Having tried and disliked caviar, I had no desire to sample other types of fish eggs. The salmon roe appetizer (not pictured) was okay, but not among my favorites. I'm not likely to order it myself, but I'll no longer be afraid to eat it.
I can't name all of the fish on my plate there. Of the five at the top of the plate, there are two types of tuna and two fish that I don't recognize. The piece on the far right (next to the pickled ginger) is unagi, or freshwater eel. This is grilled and glazed with teriyaki sauce. This stuff tastes delicious, but something about the texture makes it difficult for me to enjoy.
On the bottom is another type of roe (fish eggs), two pieces of sweet shrimp, and another piece of unagi. On the far right is uni--sea urchin wrapped in seaweed. Uni is another dish that tastes incredible but has an unpleasant (to me) texture. My friends who enjoy uni all tell me that you eventually get accustomed to the texture, but I'm not yet convinced.
In any case, I ate everything, enjoyed most of it, and discovered a few new types of sushi to enjoy. Once again I realized that my own pre-conceived notions and prejudices had prevented me for years from trying new things. I keep re-learning that I have to actively work at expanding my horizons or my comfort zone shrinks. I wonder if I'll ever internalize that lesson.