Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last Night's Outing: Sushi Bar Zipang

We love sushi. Good sushi. I don't mean everybody's favorite California roll because that's pretty much the lamest type of sushi. Heard that Sushi Bar Zipang was the best sushi in town, so I thought it'd be a nice Friday night date :) I love doing on dates and trying new things. This outing, we tried: sea bream, steamed sea eel, soft shell crab and plum wine.

The place was super busy so I was happy a made a reservation earlier that day. We sat at the bar right in the action in front of the cooking chefs. There were only 2 chefs for a packed place. Our waitress was a cute lady, very nice. On the back of the hand-made chop stick wrappers was a little blurb about the history of the name Zipang. Very thoughtful!

We started off with some green tea and miso soup. Nick also got a bottle of Saporo. Miso soup wasn't anything I haven't had before - it was good. And the brews are always nice!

We ordered two rolls: spicy hotate roll (scallops)(left) and unakyu roll (with freshwater eel)(right). The spicy one was suuuuuper spicy but delish. I think the spiciness actually overpowered the delicate tastes of the scallop. I love raw scallops, they're so tender and sweet.. Yum. Next time I'm just getting the sashimi. The unakyu roll was, as always, awesome. They put that yummy sauce on them, I don't know what's in it, but it's great. Definitely recommend. And I don't think there's any raw fish in it, so if you're an apprehensive sushi eater, don't worry, try it out!

In addition, we ordered a bunch of selective sushi and sashimi.

Back row: under the leaf is the sea bream sashimi, 2 surf clam sushi, mackerel sushi
Front row: 2 salmon sushi, tuna belly, 2 smoked freshwater eel sushi (our favorite)

I love love loveeeee sashimi. Raw fish is so... refreshing. A bit of soy sauce for saltiness and, perfection. Surf clam is usually a little chewy and sweet. The sea bream was very tender - the layers tore apart without effort. Mackerel is usually pretty salty, so watch out. All the fish was super fresh and delicious.

A big thing we noticed about this place versus any other sushi place that we've visited was the rice. It was very fresh, even a bit warm, which weirded Nick out a little. I don't think there's a rule about how sushi rice has to be cold though... Anyways, excellent rice. All the other places pretty much had tough rice. And since rice is a big part of the sushi experience, its quality is really important!

We also had the steamed sea eel sushi (left) and a spider roll (with soft shell crab tempura)(right).

The steamed sea eel tasted a lot like steamed fish... which it pretty much was. It was too mild for my taste. The spider roll was enormous. I think I read somewhere that you're supposed to eat sushi pieces whole, but this was practically impossible in this case. I kind of wish that there was a more distinct kind of sauce on it because the crab was pretty mild as well. The crab part was actually pretty cool - I saw the chef take a whole deep fried crab and chop it up for the roll. Awesome!

For dessert, we had purin a la mode: a flan with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, oranges, strawberries, banana and kiwi. I ordered a glass of dessert plum wine on ice.

The flan wasn't too sweet. I practically only tasted the actual texture. Ice cream with fruit and whipped topping was exactly how it sounds. The fruit (except for the oranges - canned) was fresh. The dessert was really nothing special - I wish we got something more Japanese, like a fruit drink of some kind with red bean paste (something like that was on the menu). The wine was verryyy nice. A little treat.

The Verdict: We're definitely going there again! Very cozy, clean, friendly staff! The chefs said goodbye and thank you whenever customers were leaving. I had a great experience at Sushi Bar Zipang. Two Japanese men were sitting beside us and having all kinds of crazy stuff. They ordered some drink in covered ups. They then lit the insides of the tops of the cups on fire and threw a dish tail into the cup. And drank that. I have no idea what it was, but I'm getting that next time. Also, oysters. Anyways, the plan is to come back there and not actually have any sushi but try crazy stuff that we've never had.

It got pretty pricey at the end, but well worth it!

I only wish we knew a Japanese person who could come with and help us out! Anyways, if you live in the area, definitely check this place out. If you have other recommendations about other great sushi places, let me know!

Later we went to see "Black Swan" with some friends. I enjoyed it very much. Great cast and acting. If you're weirded out by lots of sexuality and lesbians, I don't recommend it. Two older ladies walked out half way through the movie probably because they thought it was a nice movie about ballet. It's rated 18A for a reason. All in all, awesome Friday night. Hope you had a good one too!

Take care,

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