Sushi Drunk: Eating the Best Sushi in the Word

Tsukiji Sushiko Ginza serves what may be the BEST sushi in the world! Yum would be an understatement…

You know those silly questions that people ask each other, like ‘would you rather have no arms or no legs’? My husband is a spoilsport who hates playing this game. But we both agree that if we had to choose only one food to eat for the rest of our lives, it would be sushi.

Luckily for us, his father invited us on an awesome family trip to Tokyo, where we got to eat the best sushi in the world. I can still remember the explosion of flavor as the raw salmon melted in my mouth. Each piece of sushi looked stunning with perfectly shaped rice topped with the freshest fish imaginable and dipped in light brown soy sauce, with just the right amount of flawlessly dissolving wasabi.

This life changing sushi feast took place at Tsukiji Sushiko Ginza, named after famous Tsukiji fish market where this restaurant (and the rest of Tokyo) gets it’s fish. After asking my Japanese friends which other sushi restaurants I should try, they laughed at me. Apparently there is NO better place than Tsukiji Sushiko!

I refrained from admitting to anyone that we found it by accident. We were actually looking for a famous all-you-can-eat sushi place with a conveyor belt that delivered mouth-watering plates of heaven. Turned out that Ginza has more sushi restaurants than pigeons, which is how we ended up at this spectacular place instead.

With a hunger for unlimited sushi, I had to order the largest platter with the greatest variety of nigiri. There were several different kinds of salmon (including salmon belly), tuna, raw shrimp and many others that I couldn’t identify. I loved them all with the exception of the hard yellow fish egg piece, but I was happy to have tried it. I even tried sea-tasting crab brain sushi on this trip!

Tsukiji Sushiko Ginza didn’t just serve great sushi. Their draft Asahi beer and hot sake only added to our sushi-eating experience. We even tried adding some sake to the soy sauce which may or may not be something that Japanese people actually do. Either way, it was the most delicious sushi dinner of my life… which scared me to death.

I was worried that after eating the best sushi in the world, I would no longer be satisfied by anything less. Luckily, that was not the case. Since returning to the tiny Chinese economic development zone that I live in, I returned to my favorite sushi spot. The cheap yet quality sushi could never be compared to even a mediocre restaurant in Tokyo, but I still enjoyed every bite. I guess I’m just too much of a sushi fiend to get spoiled!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention being sushi drunk – something that I’ve joked about for years. It’s the giddy, sometimes nauseating feeling, that you get after eating obscene amounts of sushi. Apparently my joke is not at all original. The Urban Dictionary provides a definition the term and there is even a forum about it on reddit! Have you ever gotten drunk off sushi?

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Our 1st Sushiversary: Conveyor Belt Proposal @ All-You-Can-Eat Sushi

A year ago today, my boyfriend proposed via conveyor belt at our favorite sushi restaurant in Prague!

On February 12th 2016, my boyfriend ruined my diet plans by asking me to our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant for dinner. I was hungrily waiting for some more salmon nigiri when I first saw it. My very first thought was that it was a dessert, but I should have guessed from Isaac’s nervousness that it was something better than that!

The gemstone was big and green, set in silver with a twist of gold. The peridot is my birthstone and happens to be the same shade as my eyes. The ring looked like a beautiful dragon’s eye and of course, I said “yes”.

He was so nervous putting it on that it ended up on the wrong finger. “You’ll be telling people about this for the rest of our lives, won’t you?” he sighed knowingly as I giggled. Speaking of telling people things… I had spent the entire work day joking about getting a proposal out of Isaac.

You see, we had been talking about our future for a while and I had always wanted a long engagement. So as an early Valentine’s day present, I bought him a gigantic bottle of his favorite whiskey and wrote a romantic note full of hints. Leaving the office that Friday evening I held up the whiskey and announced: “this is how you get a guy to propose to you!”

Of course, I had no idea that I would come back on Monday with a ring on my finger. And the ring has quite a story behind it… Isaac bought it in Walmart on New Year’s Eve while we visited his family in the US. I had just told him that they sell $5 engagement rings and I remember him asking if I’d actually say “yes”. I would have been suspicious when he said he forgot something in the store if he hadn’t returned with fireworks.

Remember those life plans that I mentioned earlier? None of them ended up going as we had planned. My dreams of a long engagement were crushed when Isaac got a spam email about teaching in China. One day he was joking about how great it would be explore Asia before we settled down in the USA and just a week later we announced the move and our impromptu wedding. #yolo

We celebrated our one year engagement anniversary in our new home in Huaqiao, China. There were flowers, disgusting amounts of chocolate, a bottle of rose champagne and of course, sushi. Tune back in on June 10th 2017 to read about our wedding day. Trust me, you want to know all about our snail cake and our first dance on top of a rickety table in a pour-your-own-beer pub…

Sexist Sushi in Japan is Awesome… for Women!

Sushi is probably my favorite thing in the world and Japan is the best place to eat it. Since I can never get enough, I’ve been researching all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants in Tokyo. Turns out that most restaurants have different prices for men and women when it comes to all-you-can-eat menus. Women pay up to 2,000 JPY ($17) less!

With apologies to any feminists reading this, but realistically speaking the average man is stronger, faster and eats more than the average woman. If you can come to terms with this fact, then it’s not at all sexist to make all you can eat food cheaper for women. Is it? Although I admit to eating more sushi than any person should, my husband still manages to eat more. So he should pay more!

Now let’s factor in salary… unfortunately, it is still a common practice to pay women less than men. In the US specifically, statistics show that women made 80 cents for every dollar made by a man in 2015. You can read more about that here. Anyways, this makes the wage gap 20%. Now lets take another look at those sushi prices…

Tsukiji Tama Sushi is located in Ginza, a town known for it’s fresh sushi made with high quality ingredients. They offer all-you-can-eat sushi for “couples”: women pay 7,000 JPY, a man and a woman pay 8,000 JPY and two men pay 9,000 JPY.

9,000 JPY is about 78 USD so 7,000 JPY is 61 USD. That makes it almost 22% less for women! Coincidence? Probably. But it’s still awesome! Although if we get really technical and add the wage gap to the fact that women eat less than men, then women should be paying at least 40% less…

Personally, I’m happy to take while I can get. While the rest of you argue about inequality and food prices for women, I’ll be in Tokyo paying 20% less to stuff my face with sushi.

SMLXL

Strangers Gave us Money at a Chinese Christmas Party!

Chinese Christmas parties are full of great performances, food and even money!

Last night, Wednesday December 21st, the Huaqiao government hosted a Christmas party. They invited local business owners and foreigners in hopes that we would get to know each other. We were invited by Isaac’s school and we had no idea what to expect! We were more than pleasantly surprised.

We were picked up from the school by a fancy bus hired to transport us to the hotel. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with an open bar and delicious buffet! The guests were mainly Chinese businessmen, a few Indian businessmen and a bunch of teachers, their spouses and several children.

First we ate sushi, tuna sandwiches, goose live pate, shrimp, fruit, dumplings and way too many delicious desserts. Once we were full, a beautiful Chinese hostess explained the evening’s program which started with an introductory speech by a man who is the equivalent of Huaqiao’s mayor. He spoke about how much Huaqiao has developed in recent years and it was really inspirational.

Then came the performances! It was an interesting mix of a Chinese women’s choir singing English Christmas songs, ancient Chinese dancers, a magician and a fascinating face-changing performer! After the official performances anyone could come on stage – the reward for speaking/preforming was an adorable stuffed toy!

The principal of Kang Chiao, Isaac’s school, gave a moving speech about how much Huaqiao changed since she arrived to start the school four years ago. An enthusiastic older Chinese man sang a beautiful song and a Tai Chi master performed a routine that shook the ground. Even Isaac went up, dragging me with him and sang Silent Night! We got a bear that has a nose instead of one eye, so cute! ❤

It was a truly wonderful event that changed the way I feel about China. I have had a hard time not speaking the language, having people stare at me for looking different and I’ve felt very isolated. This party made me see things differently and finally feel at home in Huaqiao. It came at the perfect time – I will no longer be working from home and will have a chance to explore the area more and maybe even meet some locals!

Many teachers chose not to go to this party and I can understand why they were apprehensive. It’s been one of the busiest weeks of the school year, the weather was bad and no one really knew much about the party. A government-organized event doesn’t have the same ring to it as an expat party in Shanghai. But it truly was the best party we’ve been to in a long time!

I almost forgot to mention that you are likely to get richer at a Chinese party. In the past, red envelopes were given to people with money in it. This Christmas party was a bit more modern… everyone joined a group on WeChat (Chinese WhatApp) and the host would send clickable red envelopes for guests to click on! Isaac and I got a total of $15 from 5/6 red envelopes. You have no idea how many dumplings we can buy with that much money!

We wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Chasing Running Sushi in Prague

Running sushi is an amazing invention. For those who have never hear of it, it’s all you can eat sushi that ‘runs’ by you on a conveyor belt. How does this experience work? You come to the restaurant, sit down, order a drink and then the fun begins. There are plastic doors that you open to get sushi access. The better, fancier places have two levels of running sushi, the bottom cold and the top hot. Sushi goes past you in circles in colorful little plates, and you can pick whatever you want and eat it. Soya sauce and chop sticks are already on the table so you can dig right in.

Running sushi in theory: Don’t eat all day and plan an hour or two for endless sushi eating. Make most of your money, try different sushi and eat a bunch of your favorites. Be full all day.

Running sushi in practice scenario one: You wake up early, decide to have a snack but only a small one. Starve all day waiting unexpectedly for that magical hour+ of sushi eating. You get to the sushi place and you see all your options. You can’t pick one to start with so you take several plates, fight for the yummy stuff with whoever you came with. You get mad if something you see coming is taken by others because it’s hard to comprehend that it will come again – basically the caveman deep inside you awakens. You keep eating more and more sushi until you feel quite full. You look at your watch, and it’s only been 15 minutes. You try to take a break and you turn your head away from the sushi, but oh, there’s a mirror and you can see the sushi beckoning you in the reflection. You try actually talking and making eye contact with your friend, colleague or partner who came with you, but the moving sushi in the corner of your eye is so much more enticing. Then you see something new that is being served and you grab it selfishly and devour it quickly, even though 20 more of the same thing are already on their way. You say ‘just one more’ a few times. Maybe more than a few. Once you start feeling sick you ask to pay and try to stand up. Standing up doesn’t always work right away, but after a while you begin to waddle out of the restaurant. You swear you will never eat again but somehow you are hungry several hours later. That night or the next morning you use the bathroom more than usual and swear off sushi. But you will always return. They always do.

Running sushi in practice scenario two:Very similar except you wake up and go straight there for breakfast, possibly with a hangover. You are the first one there so there are only a few options on the belt, mostly cold options that don’t get spoiled too quickly. You say you’ll wait for the good stuff but you take just one plate to munch on, then soon after ‘just one more’. Then they start serving something better but not your favorite. You’re so tempted that you give up waiting, because they probably won’t serve your favorite anyway and you eat and eat and eat. By the time your favorite sushi comes along, which surprises you but at the same time doesn’t, you are way too full. But you still eat more. If you are hungover and even if you’re not, you feel even sicker in this second 20 minute sushi gobbling scenario than the first – bet you didn’t think that was even possible.

Don’t get me wrong, there are few things as amazing as eating cheap all-you-can-eat sushi. But be warned, strong self control is required to survive…

There are several places to eat running sushi in Prague. The better slightly more expensive ones are in the shopping centersPalladium and Novy Smichov. Work day lunch time prices there are 318 for adults and 168 for children under eight years, on weekends and holidays the price is 338 for adults and 178 for children. Dinners, after 17:00 cost 398 for adults and 218 for children. These pricier places have the two levels of running sushi as previously mentioned. Then there is a cheaper option near metro stop I.P. Pavlova, Baifu running sushi on Bělehradská 75 with an adult price of only 209 czk after 15:00 and less than 200 if it’s earlier. Weekends are more expensive and there is only one belt so there is less of a variety.

French wine events offer a choice of wax celebrities or sushi

Wine company Dvě Deci is having two events. The most accessible is a French wine tasting at newly opened waxworks Musée Grévin on Celená Street. The May 21 event, just the fourth in the new space, will have wines selected by master sommelier and Dvě Deci cofounder Jean Michel Deluc, who has recommended wines to people ranging from the Queen of England and Lady Diana to Woody Allen and Elton John.

Dvě Deci will host a tasting at the new waxworks as well as a separate wine-and-sushi event http://www.praguepost.com/food-and-drink/39003-two-french-wine-events-offer-a-choice-of-wax-celebrities-or-sushi