Posted: September 25, 2012 By Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: September 21, 2012 By Dana Nigro
Posted: September 20, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Yoshikazu Ono runs his thumb over the exposed surface of an abalone, a grimace spreading across his face. He thinks the shellfish is too small, and it feels too firm. “Not good. I don’t know if we can serve abalone today,” he mutters in Japanese. “It should be plump. And darker. These are yellow.”
Ono, 52, is responsible for buying the fresh fish each day for Sukiyabashi Jiro, the 11-seat sushi bar where he makes sushi shoulder-to-shoulder with his father, 86-year-old Jiro Ono. They were featured earlier this year in the film documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
Posted: September 17, 2012
Posted: September 17, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
A week in Tokyo drove home the point that the most venerated sushi restaurants there only serve sushi. They don’t also make tempura. They don’t deal in teppanyaki. You can’t get ramen or soba noodles in the same place. They devote 100 percent of their efforts to making rice, finding great fish, butchering, aging, cooking and curing the seafood properly, then serving it simply.
Sushi is not the only specialty food craft that’s treated with such specificity and luxury. In the span of 24 hours I experienced what many believe to be the very best specialists of three of these foods, steered in the right direction by Masuhiro Yamamoto, author of several books on sushi and what he calls “cuisines de terroir” of Tokyo.
Posted: September 14, 2012
Posted: September 12, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Differences between sushi in Japan and sushi at home are getting clearer as I try a few of Tokyo’s thousands of options. Restaurants that specialize in one thing (such as tempura, sukiyaki, even eel) are more revered than those that offer a wider menu. Sushi is at the top of the food chain.
Posted: September 11, 2012 By Jennifer Fiedler
Posted: September 6, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Alain Ducasse loved it. He picked it recently when Bloomberg News asked top chefs around the world where they loved to eat. Most of them listed famous restaurants owned by famous chefs, but Ducasse waxed lyrical about this chef’s "perfect knowledge of the Japanese terroir." He loved "the refined ingredients, delicate taste of the sushi and the subtle tableware," adding, "I had to share my discovery with you, as you will not find it in any restaurant guides."
Well, maybe not any guides in English. The sushi mavens of Tokyo sure know about the restaurant. Reservations must be made two months in advance, according to my new friend, Jun Yokokawa, a professor on the faculty of Tourism and Hospitality at Bunkyo University in Tokyo who is also a respected restaurant critic. (His email domain is "@junandfoodies.com".) He booked it for me, my first sushi experience for my week here in Tokyo, and it was as Ducasse described.
Posted: September 6, 2012 By Laurie Woolever
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Lizzie Munro
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Owen Dugan
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Mark Pendergrast
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Owen Dugan
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Tim Fish
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Mitch Frank
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Alison Napjus
Posted: August 31, 2012 By Nathan Wesley
Posted: August 29, 2012 By Tim Fish
My grandparents owned a corner grocery store back in Indiana when I was growing up and my grandfather Sam was an old-fashioned butcher, cutting meat by hand on a wood butcher block table. Every Monday, a new side of beef arrived and he would painstakingly whittle it down to the various roasts and cuts and grind his own hamburger.
If there were any leftover steaks by noon Sunday--yes, he worked 6½ days a week--he would call my dad and say, “Light the grill!” That didn’t happen a lot, but somehow he managed to always have leftovers on Labor Day Weekend. So when I was 7 or 8, I was accustomed to eating good and incredibly fresh steak. The fact that my dad tended to cook the life out of them is another blog post altogether.
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