I am a complete novice when it comes to sushi. It is one food that I am not familiar with at all, yet very intrigued by. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had only ever tried sushi in a plastic box from a supermarket shelf! So it's no surprise that I felt completely overwhelmed after my first sushi restaurant experience. It was at Mikuni in downtown Davis during my first week here in California.
In one of my lectures, I learnt that the Japanese use over 400 words to describe the texture of food, which is a staggering number compared with 78 words for the USA. Some of the most popular Japanese texture words included slippery, creamy and chewy (which can be related to sushi). This information can lead us to believe that the Japanese have a huge variety of textures in their foods that the rest of the world is afraid of or just not used to.
I started the meal with a miso soup...
...followed by sharing some flaming 'shrooms - mushrooms stuffed with crab mix, cream cheese, jalapeño, lightly fried, drizzled with a special sauce and topped with shaved bonito flakes. These were delicious and very different to anything I have ever had before.
I chose the Spicy Johnny Roll as I enjoyed it so much on my first visit - deep fried shrimp, spicy tuna, eel, avocado, masago (orange fish eggs) and onion. The tuna was raw and the eel was cooked which was the perfect balance for me - an explosion of gorgeous salty fishy flavours and an interesting variety of textures.
Our side of noodles had two pieces of cold crab on top... which seemed rather separated from the rest of the dish and perhaps a little lost...!
To complete the meal... a delicious (if a little small) lava cake for dessert.
My second visit to Mikuni did not live up to my first. This has happened to me a few times with restaurant experiences. I guess I must exaggerate the first visit in my head each time! It's still the best sushi I have ever had.... so far anyway!