Friday, May 16, 2008

Sushi Lunch

Today it was sushi for lunch with the girls. A couple of friends met me at our favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Republic. It's a nice quiet little place in Surfside (north beach area). Everything was great!

We started with Edamame, lightly salted boiled green soy beans, and Wakame, seaweed salad. Then we shared a a beautiful boat of sushi.
As usual, everything was superb. The fish was fresh, with a nice clean taste, as it should be. The service was excellent, and everyone enjoyed the experience.

If you are unfamiliar with sushi, and other elements of Japanese cuisine, you may be interested to know:

  1. Technically, the word sushi refers to the rice (the Japanese word su means vinegar, and shi is from meshi, the Japanese word for rice, hence sushi is 'vinegared rice'), but colloquially, the term is used to describe a finger-size piece of raw fish or shellfish on a bed of rice or simply the consumption or raw fish in the Japanese style (while sushi is not solely a Japanese invention, these days, the Japanese style is considered the de facto serving standard). The sushi can be eaten as is, or is often first dipped into shoyu (Japanese soy sauce).
  2. Great care is taken in the creation of every dish and the many methods of preparing Japanese food indicates the importance of appearance to the educated consumer. Sushi is a work of art as much as a food.
  3. Sashimi is raw fish served sliced, but as-is. That means no bed of rice or roll. It is often served alongside daikon and/or shiso. This is my favorite style as you really get the flavor of the fish.
  4. Sashimi is often cut in different ways to enhance the appearance of the fish. Hira zukuri is the standard rectangular shape cut. A thinner cut is called Ito zukuri, and is often no more than 1/16 inch thick. The thinnest, called Kaku zukuri is paper-thin and is often presented in a pattern.
  5. Depending on what you ordered and the whim of the chef, you might see other items on the plate such as wasabi (the hot green Japanese horseradish-like rhizome), gari (pickled ginger, which comes in both a pink and a light tan color, with the lighter stuff usually indicating better quality). You may also see a large green leaf called shiso, which is often served with sashimi, and a shredded white mass of Japanese radish called daikon, which is also often served with sashimi.
If you are in the neighborhood, give Sushi Republic a try. We find it to be one of the best sushi restaurants in the South Florida area: 9583 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL 33154, Phone: (305) 867-8036.

Let me know if you liked it!

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