Friday, May 06, 2005

Party you, sushi me

The title of this post was inspired by a catering service flyer seen in downtown Vienna.

The subject was inspired by Marketman's Seaside post. MDEB and I decided to make a trip to Seaside market to buy some sashimi. We got there at around 10:30 am and would have had trouble finding a parking space, but we got lucky and a spot opened up right in front of the Baclaran church.

Before buying anything, we walked around the whole area to get a feel for the place. Pretty much everything looked good. Aside from the wide variety of fish, we saw lobsters, crabs, prawns, octopus, eel, shellfish, and - though I'm not sure this is legal - a few live leatherback turtles. They sell uni as well but by the time we arrived, there was no more left. There was also a bit of chicken and pork, looking out of place.

We bought some tuna and salmon for sashimi. Each cost P380/kilo and we got a whole kilo of the salmon and half a kilo of the tuna. Since we had some money left, we decided to get some tuna panga as well, which cost around P160/kilo. We tried to make tawad but didn't get anywhere so I hope these prices are regular and fair. We put the fish on ice and waited until evening.

After squash, we grilled the panga and sliced the sashimi. The panga was just slightly salted, grilled, and served Japanese style, with finely grated radish, soy sauce, and calamansi. On the side, we had some Korean kimchi, which was generously supplied by my half-Korean classmate.

First the bad. The panga didn't taste fresh. Before buying it, we smelled it and didn't detect any foul or malansa odor. But when we opened the cooler later in the evening, the smell was obvious. The tuna sashimi looked and smelled good when we bought it, but when we served it, there was an off taste. Nothing like the top quality sashimi you can get at decent Japanese restaurants.

Now the good. The salmon was excellent - firm, rich, and almost sweet. It coated our mouths with a buttery sensation which was best cut by scotch with ice and water. I think we're going to do this again.

Ralph, my tuna farmer friend gave me some tips on buying tuna: do you tell if tuna is fresh and good in case you have the good fortune to come across some? It should be dark pink, almost red and reflect irridescent colours. The muscle fibers should not peel apart. It should be hard to the touch above all. Firm not mushy. If the fish lying on its side flattens like a tire without enough air leave it lying and go to Burger Machine. Look at the eyes and the skin. If the eyes are grey, almost dried out and cloudy its old. If the skin has a yellow sheen and the slim is dried out, fins curled and dried, there probably isn't much point in checking any further because it hasn't been handled properly.

Off-topic: We got the Scotch (JW Red Label 750 ml.) at Wine Depot along Zuellig Loop. It was much cheaper than Rustans (P650 v. P900+). We also bought some Cooper's Dark Aussie Ale and drank it on the spot; very refreshing after the trip to Seaside. I know, it's not cheap, but we really wanted to try it.

1 comment:

Doranne said...

Hey! nice post. made me really hungry. i think im adding this blog to my shortcuts bar.
....sige, kakain muna ako....