Our last night in Japan called for one last search for sushi. We asked at the reception desk and there was not much joy. You’d think that other people would have asked the questions of “where’s a good sushi restaurant?” before, but apparently not. There was much discussion and asking of colleagues which resulted in some blank faces. It was also a Monday night, where it seemed lots of places were closed.
So, a quick bit of googalising and we were off.
Our first attempt thwarted us with this sign…
One was full and another one was closed. Then we found this place. We were excited. It was full, but they asked us to sit and wait for a spot at the bar. This was where the action was. We watched the chefs interact with the customers. There was laughing and handing over of freshly made sashimi and sushi. There was sake being drunk. Excitement.
Jenny was more excited about these baskets under the seats. We’d seen them before and Jenny just couldn’t believe what a great idea they were and why we don’t have them….. probably because your stuff would be flogged and you wouldn’t know about it until you got up to leave!
We finally got our spot at the end of the bar and the chef down our end having clocked who his new customers were had a look on his face of palpable distain. No welcome, no hello, no reply to my ‘konbanwa’, no konichiwa, no smile – nothing.
We ordered our first dish from a picture menu by pointing to which he said “ok” and then said something in Japanese to the chef next to him who looked at us and said something back to him – it felt exactly like that Seinfeld episode when Elaine goes to the nail salon with the Korean staff.
This is what we ordered…..
And this is what we got…
One might say that he had a lacksidasical approach to his craft.
The rest of the dishes were ok looking, and all tasted delicious.
He seemed pretty happy when I threw out an “Oishii” (delicious) and he replied “thank you” with one raised eyebrow. Then I thought – well, it’s raw fish, how much credit can he really take for it?
He made no attempt to converse and then when a French couple sat down next to us who spoke as much Japanese as we did, he almost rolled his eyes, said a few more things to the chef next to him and they sniggered! They sniggered!
It made for a fairly awkward hour and we left stomachly satisfied, but certainly not culturally. It made me want to go home, learn Japanese and go back there, sit and order, eat my food and at the end of the meal after he’d rudely whispered whatever to his mate in Japanese, I would triumphantly speak in Japanese making him realise that I had understood every word he’d said. Sure it’s a long range revenge tactic, which will require a fair amount of work on my part.
Or I could be like Jenny who just said, “Stuff him!”