Considering that sushi might be Japan’s most ubiquitous food export, it’s one of those things that you pretty much have to try at least once while you’re here.
And of course, ideally you’d go to a high-end place like Jiro to taste the best of the best — the type of experience you’d never be able to have back home. Sadly, dropping several hundred dollars on one meal just isn’t in the budget, as much as I’d like it to be.
There are, however, a bunch of sushi joints in Osaka that are both well-regarded and not absurdly expensive, including the one I just went to, Endo Sushi. They have a pretty good deal where you get five pieces of sushi for about 13 bucks Canadian — not cheap, certainly, but not unreasonable either.
Sadly, the sushi was quite tasty, but not much more than that — definitely not the mind-blowing sushi experience you might hope for in Japan (I suspect I might have to spring for a Jiro type of place if that’s the goal).
There were a few things that I really liked, however. Each plate had a piece of sushi with otoro tuna, and man, that stuff was good. Otoro comes from the belly of the fish, and thanks to how fatty it is, it pretty much just melts in your mouth. It’s like tuna butter.
The other highlight was, surprisingly enough, the egg nigiri. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of this particular type of sushi — the ones I’ve had back home were always slightly rubbery and overcooked. This one, on the other hand, was almost creamy — it was perfect and eggy, and eating it was a definite eureka moment. Oh, that’s what that’s supposed to taste like. Good to know.
Otherwise it was fine, but not much better than the best sushi I’ve had back home. Most disappointingly, the seasoning was off. Better sushi like this shouldn’t require the usual soy sauce/wasabi combo — it should have already been seasoned by the chef. But some of the pieces were pretty bland, and others had wasabi applied so prodigiously they were like a roundhouse kick to my nasal passages.