The best sushi thing ever
I’ve been having one of those really nasty weeks where I not only get bone tired easily (and not just in that “journalism is eating my brain” sort of way) but I also crave lots and lots of carbs. My staple for the past couple weeks has been peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and not just because of poverty (journalism, again). I seriously love PBJ sandwiches.
But last Monday I decided to give the butter knife a rest and get a dish I’d seen featured on the menu of the Japanese restaurant around the corner from my apartment: Mentai Chirashi.
Mentai is pickled cod roe, and I figured the dish would just be some roe mixed in with sashimi over a bed of rice… but it was so much more than that. So, so much more. It’s as if a sushi bar, a couple of jars of oshinko and some eggs went on an acid trip and had an all-night orgy on top of a bowl of rice — and I love sushi, so I mean that in a good way.
I was so taken with the mentai chirashi that I took a photo of it in all its pristine loveliness, before I hammered into it with my chopsticks. Here’s the photo, and a key to ingredients (click on the photo for a larger version):
1) Savory egg custard
2) Rice cracker balls
3) Salmon roe
4) Seasoned seaweed
5) Three kinds of flying fish roe: wasabi, ginger and regular
6) I seem to have forgetten the number “6″ in this graphic. But the sixth ingredient is, as Marge Simpson would say, love. Or perhaps a need to use up everything in the sushi bar before it goes bad.
7) Pine nuts (yes, pine nuts)
8) Tuna sashimi
9) Sesame seeds
10) One of four big, ripe, lovely mentai pods.
11) Salmon sashimi
13) Yellowtail sashimi
14) Oshinko (Japanese pickles)
15) Pickled baby carrots
The restaurant is Shima on 29-13 Broadway, a couple blocks west of the N/W Broadway stop. The phone number is (718) 721-5566. If you to go for the Mentai Chirashi, you might bump into me… I’ve had the stuff three times since I ordered it on Monday. There’s so much rice and fish that it’s lunch AND dinner for me. Mmm… value…