Friday, December 3, 2010

Chiu on This – Worst Sashimi Ever

Lobster Girl and I had a late Saturday and lazy Sunday. We missed brunch, but made it out of the house for an early dinner. I wanted sushi, but didn't feel like heading to my beloved Minato. I decided to give Chiu's Sushi a second chance, since it's only a few blocks away in Horrible East.

Big mistake. Trust your first impressions.

First of all, the kabuki theater atmosphere with female employees dressed in kimonos is lame. The room looks like it was designed by someone who had seen The Mikado on acid.

The best way to judge any sushi place is the sashimi plate or omakase. None of the expensive stunt rolls. So I see they have a sashimi dinner and deluxe sashimi dinner. Deluxe!

First up is the hot towel. Ow, ow, .. ah. Then some hot sake. Done. They brought the usual miso soup which was okay, but like everything there it was overly ornate in a non-functional way. I don't need a cup, a lid and a goofy American plastic spoon. Japanese drink the soup from the cup.

Then there was a weird "salad" which was iceberg lettuce and a strange clumpy orange dressing. Fail.

I got the deluxe sashimi for $27. The deluxe model has salmon, tuna, and yellowtail. That is it. The fish was cut way way too thick; it was an unpleasantly large mouthful. The quality of the tuna was the lowest possible. It was bright red with no fat at all, signifying frozen and low grade cut. The salmon was adequate, but had a weird foreign taste sometimes like it sat in the refrigerator next to turpentine. The yellowtail was adequate.

The accompanying bowl of sushi rice was poorly prepared.  I make better rice at home.

A sashimi plate is an opportunity for the chef to shine and to order it is a compliment to the chef. The artless slabs of fish on the platter was sad. Did I mention we were the only customers there? Three kinds of fish on the deluxe platter? Three? How sad is the regular version?

They did use real mizuna leaves. The gari (pickled ginger) was disgusting. Obviously store bought (hey, I make my own, it's not hard) and dyed with repulsive candy-like flavor from some kind of sweetener. Blech.

They also wrap & rewrap their fish in plastic wrap which is a huge foul according to Alex Tran, the owner of Minato. It traps weird flavors and bacteria.

Lobster Girl was happy with her goofy makis and slathered them in soy sauce and wasabi. That's what she likes, so that's what she gets.

I have a theory that sushi bars are like chiropractors. Everybody thinks theirs is the best. When I hear people say that Chiu's has good sushi, I wonder what they think bad sushi is. So, remember that when people brag up their chiro, keep in mind that they keep going back over and over and never get fixed.

Finally, the room was ridiculously noisy, with three separate LOUD conversations among employees in Chinese. Just because you think we can't understand you, doesn't mean we can't hear you. And if you look at my girlfriend and say "dee oh lay, ... dai bo". I know what you mean and yes they are real.


1 comment:

Drivel Lady said...

I am not a sushi eater, but if I was served fish that was not fresh in a sushi restaurant, I would insist the server commit hari kari.