March 2009

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unagi don

  • Unagi looks like the hiragana character for ‘U’ in Japanese, making it a handy mnemonic. There’s no equivalently useful food in English.
  • There’s a special day reserved in Japan for eating stamina-giving eel, which I referred to as ‘unagi day’ but is in fact called doyo no ushinohi. If you wanted to make a joke, you could call it doyo no ushirohi, which is eel buttocks day, which is actually pretty funny. This site not only has much more information but also has an amazing number of tiny gif characters.
  • There’s a handy hole punch like thing that you use to nail the eel’s head on a board so you can fillet it.
  • In a three stage process the eel is grilled, steamed and grilled again.
  • This removes much of the eel fat, which instead drips down onto hot charcoal and is transformed into smells. Tasty ones.
  • Above is an unagi donburi (or unagi don (or unaju-). It’s grilled eel with a sweet teriyaki style sauce on rice.
  • Japanese don’t use teriyaki to anywhere near the extent that we’ve been led to believe they do.
  • The rice has been mixed with a kind of sushi vinegar, which was sugar, rice vinegar and dashi. It’s also good plain.
  • The black things are soft konbu furikake.
  • I bought the eel ready-to-go at Seafresh in Innaloo.
  • Yes it is on the floor, but they’re nice floorboards, no?

OBSERVATION Has this blog got skinnier or have screens become wider? Because there’s like all this space on the sides.

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As the first forkful of scampi sidled gingerly into his mouth, my friend’s head snapped still in surprise, then began to oscillate gently in ecstatic bemusement. “I can’t believe it,” he whispered. “I didn’t give the place a chance. When the waitress said, ‘Is there anywhere you’d like to sit?’ I wanted to say Melbourne. Or Belmarsh. Anywhere but here. This is bizarre.”

Firstly, forkfuls of scampi don’t sidle any more than turds flush; angrily or no.

Secondly, what’s wrong with his friend’s head?

Thirdly, ‘ecstatic bemusement’?; was ‘hysterical contemplation’ busy that week?

Fourthly, friends don’t let friends become esprit d’escalier proxies.

Fifthly, an unexpectedly good restaurant is a ‘nice surprise’. Bizarre is a Fortean stick mag for gothy youth.

It wanks on and on (with erratic repetitiveness) and the world of dining, and indeed the entire world, is a worse place for it. I’ll now sigh in a disappointed fashion.