I have been to numerous sushi restaurants in Japan, but none quite like the one in which I am now sitting, ideally located many hundreds of miles south of the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant. This particular restaurant is so popular that to avoid disappointment, bookings should be made at least a month in advance. On entering the premises, there is surprise that the dining area consists of a single counter with six seats and I wonder how the establishment could possibly turn a profit from so few seats. I bid the chef and my fellow diners Kombanwa (Good evening), then sit down and order a beer. I am informed that I will be not be drinking beer but rather green tea, as it does not interfere with the taste of the sushi. With some assistance, I inform the waitress that I will take my chances with the beer. This proves to no avail. Apparently traditional sushi restaurants only serve green tea.
Admonishing myself for my ignorance, I inspect the ornate dining utensils in front of me, see Picture 1. The dripping water visible behind the counter is to wash ones hands after each serving. Picture 2 is of the sushi counter, if you were wondering what the white substance is, it is salt.
The meal consists of eighteen separate servings. Not only is each sushi exquisitely presented, but they are perfection, quite superior in fact to any I have previously encountered.
My particular favourites are the tuna, which literally melts in the mouth and the sea eel which is soft, succulent and served warm. There is even poisonous puffer fish sushi (see image ); a local speciality. The waitress constantly replaces our cups of green tea, so as to keep the liquid at the perfect temperature to cleanse the pallet after each serving.
Having finished the meal, I continue sipping green tea, contemplating on how this has been the best sushi experience of my life. Sometime later a diner to my left remarks in broken English that I am looking a little green and suggests it might be a result of the poisonous puffer fish. The chef casts a nervous glance in my direction. They need not be concerned; my complexion is merely the result of the contents of the bill. It is now abundantly clear how the restaurant is able to operate with so few seats.
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