Friday, July 13, 2012

Finnish sushi

There are many foods I miss since leaving California. Many. I'd always known that California was a wealth of variety and quality that was available in few other places of the world, but never did I stop to wonder what it would be like to be devoid of everything I could want, and especially at any time of day. Well, now I know.

One of the foods I miss the most is sushi. Any person who loves the taste and texture of raw fish can attest that good sushi is something to crave. In California it's abundant, and we tend to go a little nuts over the different variations we can come up with - each restaurant tries to outdo the others, so we end up with cheaper, higher quality combinations. Sure this deviates from the old stock standard, but boy is it delicious.

So when my circle of girlfriends suggested we go for sushi as one of our meetups, I quickly agreed. Having not had sushi in eons (i.e. since the last night I was in San Diego...yes, I do remember the last time I've had sushi, it's the kind of thing you don't forget), I was dying for a taste of something familiar. Something that was not all-American, and something that was hopefully not Finnified.

I'd been told ahead of time that sexy fancy rolls were out of the question (these are the main focus in California, unless you go to more traditional places or specifically order nigiri/sashimi off the menu), but I was okay with that - I just wanted something familiar.

And so familiar is what I ordered:


Just your standard nigiri assortment with an extra order of California rolls. Yes, they do have California rolls here! :D The exorbitant amount of ginger is due to the fact that my friend doesn't eat it, apparently, and I certainly wasn't going to let it go to waste (love that stuff).

Overall, it was actually pretty good. Fresh fish, pretty high quality. Not chewy or otherwise hard to eat. Pretty stock set of goodness. From left to right:

  • salmon (sake)
  • white fish
  • shrimp (normal, cooked - ebi)
  • sweet shrimp (amaebi)
  • sweet tofu pouch (inari)
  • unidentifiable fish, probably what they were calling grilled salmon with a cream sauce on top
  • cucumber rolls with sesame seeds (kappa maki)
  • California rolls (8 of them - had shrimp instead of krab, but otherwise had avocado and mayo)
All in all very tasty, and pretty filling, all things considered. Just took half an hour of waiting for take out and a whopping 20euros for this small tray, but hey, it's Finland. :)

One thing that was a little odd - the soy sauce. It tasted like it was likely low-sodium, first of all, but it also had the lingering flavor of something else. Almost like it was fermented or something. I didn't see the bottle it was being poured from so I can't confirm, but next time I'll have to take a look at what this stuff is. Definitely not your normal Kikkoman soy.

Another thing of note - the wasabi. Since the Finns are notorious for not being able to handle things of spice, I noticed that although my ginger was smeared with what looked like wasabi, it wasn't spicy at all. In fact...I'm not sure what the green paste included technically was. It sort of tasted like...toasted nothing. It was clearly a paste, and it had a sort of toasted bean flavor, but other than that, nothing. No horseradish taste, no heat, no spice. I've had real wasabi in Japan before, and this was not that either. I guess what it really is, will remain a mystery for now.

I give it my thumbs up. Should I have another sushi craving, I know I'll not go insane. And lucky for me, this place is just a 5 minute walk from my apartment (whoo!).

Umeshu

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