Sunday, September 09, 2007

Japan 10: Fugu at Shimonoseki

下関, Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Shimonoseki is famous for its great production of the famous but deadly fugu or puffer fish. There are numerous restaurants, small establishments, specialising in this unique creature in downtown Shimonoseki. For real quality restaurants, one meal involving the puffer fish can cost easily into 10 000円. For cheaper alternatives, this restaurant which located in a shopping mall and just a few minutes walk away from the train station is an option.

This is a set of fried puffer fish with breadcrumbs set. It tasted more of plain breadcrumbs than anything else.

Fried puffer fish set. It was a bit too oily and hardly any taste nor texture to it. The batter to it was too dry and made it hard to swallow let alone finish it. The frying technique was probably amateurish.

Puffer fish set, with raw puffer fish served in sashimi style.

Pure puffer fish flesh. It had a chewy texture, with just a hint of sweetness. It tasted like rubber with very little significant taste to it. The sauce that accompanies just gives it a salty effect to it, and that was basically what it was. There was not a numbing sensation on the tongue or any reason to risk one's life for the taste of it. But perhaps the choice of this economical restaurant very much explains why.

The set meal comes with decorative puffer fish dish.

In spite of the quality of the meal, it just cost less than 1000円 per person, way way below what one might expect for a quality puffer fish meal.
However, this restaurant's stuff probably provided one of the best service for their customer. As usual, there would be some language barriers in communicating, but the waitress would be quite patient and try her best to understand and be understood. In this case, it is likely that she knows no English at all. Probably because the location is Yamaguchi, a more rural area.

When the waitress comes over to the table to clear the table, or to fill up the tea, she would say '失礼します', meaning excuse me for bothering. Upon leaving, she would say that polite phrase again, while facing us with a slight bow. This type of service and politeness is probably quite rare even in Japan, and so far the only restaurant experienced that provided this experience.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter