The List of Things I Want (But Need Like a Chocolate Teapot) IIPosted: 3 September 2011
Here’s a question for the more culinarily-inclined of you out there. Are you feeling hungry right now? Really hungry? So hungry you could eat an elephant? Try this out for size…
3. Mega Sushi Roll
Japan is well-known for its indulgence in ‘micro-cuisine’. Given the Japanese fascination for all things tiny, it is perhaps not surprising that the Japanese eat small too – from the lunchtime staple of the bento [弁当] boxed lunch to the dizzyingly diverse range of sushi dishes being produced in restaurants all over the world (and, so it seems, on every street in Greater London).
Sushi Umewaka [梅若寿し] is such a restaurant, located in Anjō city in north-western Aichi. In recent years it has become famous – not for its clientele or the reputation of its chefs, but the sheer size of its sushi! Breaking apart from the Japanese norm, Umewaka takes pride in its star dish – the ‘Mega Sushi Roll’ – which takes 20 different types of filling and a 2 metre length of nori [海苔] and rice to wrap it all. Altogether coming in at 6 kilos in weight, this is a dish most certainly living up to its name. To put this into perspective, a regular makizushi [巻き寿司] or sushi roll weighs approximately 400 grams.
But say you were sojourning in Anjō one evening and felt a hankering for some sushi, you may have to stick with the normal sized stuff. Orders for the giant sushi roll must be made two days in advance, and in all the meal will set you back by the shogunly sum of ¥15,000 – the equivalent of £120 in British currency. Or if your eyes aren’t big enough for the sushi roll, for the same price you can watch as the chef whips up a set of giant nigirizushi [握り寿司], topped with giant slabs of salmon, omelette, squid or an entire dish of fish roe. Then for afters, why not try a tiny collection of sushi just big enough to entirely fit inside a matchbox? This is Japan, after all!
Click here to watch a Japanese TV station’s report from the restaurant.
Personally, I’m hoping my next birthday party involves one of these!
Photo credit: 立食師