Friday, January 22, 2010

In Search of Sushi ...

I think this blog is becoming increasingly food-centric.  But I believe that food is so important to one's culture, identity and sense of "home."  When I'm homesick, I long for certain foods - my mom's cooking, Taco del Mar, etc. - as much as I long for my childhood bed.  And when I think of returning to London, I look forward to my lunchbreaks at Pret (um ... when I say "lunchbreaks", I mean I treat myself every Friday to Pret - I usually make my lunch or eat in the canteen on other days) and the yummy roasts John makes on Sundays or the comforting traditional English cottage and shepherd's pies delightfully crafted by John's mum.  Food is very important in the Chinese culture; so important, that once every three months or so, my family makes the journey up to Vancouver, British Columbia to a little city called Richmond, which is basically like a mini-Hong Kong.  There we gorge on the best Cantonese-style food - from wonton noodles with beef brisket to dim sum.  But I'll cover that in a later post. 

And in true Asian style (after looking at my Chinese friends' Facebook photo albums, I'm pretty sure this is primarily and Asian thing), I like to take pictures of almost every meal - and definitely when we're travelling, much to John's embarrassment ("Don't use flash, don't use flash - OH NO YOU USED FLASH!!!").  This leads me to my topic of the day, which is the search for decent sushi in London - and I think I might have found it.  But first, let me illustrate where I'm coming from in terms of sushi standards ...

Behold the before and after photos of a trip to Koharu Japanese Restaurant in Federal Way, Washington.  In terms of the best sushi in Puget Sound, I think this is it.  Koharu is always on the top of my list for "special food requests" when I go home and we usually end up spending upwards of $250 for four people when dining there.  Oops.  My dad takes clients there and about all I can afford is the miso soup.  They also do great cooked main dishes, such as beef yakisoba, etc. 

So I was pretty disappointed when I first landed in London and was faced with the usual conveyor belt-type places you find in big cities - chains like Yo! Sushi and Wasabi just don't do it for me when I'm craving some fresh salmon sashimi that hasn't sat inside of a plastic wrapper for 6 hours or drifted down a conveyor belt, salivated over by 50 other customers before it gets to me.  Not so much.  Itsu is actually not bad, considering it's a chain and features in Heathrow Terminal 5, where I can get my sushi fix before taking off.  But I don't really like it's whole "health and happiness" motto - it's reminds me too much of Victoria Beckham, sipping green tea and eating edamame beans to survive.  I don't eat sushi because it makes me "healthy and happy", I eat it because it's damn tasty and I eat it until I feel like I'm about to puke from fullness.  Sorry if i missed the point there, but I sure as hell do not eat sushi for "health" reasons.

My sushi place of choice, which may surprise many, is actually one I've never visited - well, at least physically.  You Me Sushi in Marylebone delivers sushi and bento boxes to anyone living within their 3-mile radius - for free.  That's fab.  I like the concept of You Me Sushi.  It's simple, it's fresh and it does just what it says on the tin.  And it's something that sounds like what John and I would say to each other at the end of a stressful day or work week:  "You, me, sushi?"  Um, like, yeah!  Their only downfall is their super sketchy website.  But whenever I see the mopeds whizzing around NW London with the You Me Sushi logo on the back, my heart flutters a little.  We usually get an 18-piece nigiri set or if we're feeling particularly hungry, that and a side. 

Another reason why You Me Sushi wins in my book?  Once, they called me up with a customer satisfaction survey.  The lady on the other end asked me if I was satisfied with the service I had received so far from them.  I thought about it and responded, "Yes, definitely."  "Isn't there ANYTHING you can think of that you weren't COMPLETELY satisfied with?" she pressed.  Ok, twist my arm then.  I thought hard and remembered one time when my delivery could have been about 15 minutes earlier than it was ... and immediately, I was texted a code for 20% off my next order.  You Me Sushi?  Yes, please.

1 comment

  1. Um, I take pictures of most of my meals (I'm just too embarrassed to put them on Fbk or too lazy to transfer them from my mobile).
    I thought it was a 'good people like good food' thing. ;)


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