I love salmon nigiri, I love cucumber maki, I really love shrimp tempura and avocado hand rolls and, as the mini button says, I love Yelp. Thanks to the brilliant folks on the Yelp team here in London, I got to attend a sushi-making class at the brand new location of the paper crane-bedecked, double-fried soy garlic ginger chicken-producing Tsuru Sushi. In case you’re wondering, I also love paper cranes and all things double-fried.
Two things I discovered about sushi last night:
1) It’s really fun to get your hands (and face and sweater and hair and that of nearby friends) sticky with rice, play with your own sushi roller, ogle trays of shrimp tempura, squirt massive amounts of mayonnaise, and generally get all up in a sushi-making mess. And even though I’ve always been in awe of the many years of training to make sushi and even just to correctly prepare the rice, it gave me a newfound respect for sushi chefs and their immaculate, aesthetically perfect (not to mention delicious) creations when compared to our overstuffed rice bombs.
2) Writing about sushi leads to a lot of really entertainingly terrible puns. I’ll treat you to the best of the worst, stolen straight from my Yelp review of this fantastic Elite Event.
Having recently been to a Jameson and Guinness-drenched St. Patrick’s Day Party and a sparkly off-the-shoulder and neon pink leggings-rocking bowling party, I can tell you that Yelp is totally on a roll with the Elite events. I, however, am about to rock your brain with puns so terrible you’re going to roe-ll in your grave. And you’ll be ig-nori-ing these delicious pictures to run for cover from the ridiculousness. But seriously, this Elite event raw-ked.
Sushi maki-ng was so much fun – my favorite was the shrimp tempura hand roll, which starts with a rectangle of nori in the left hand and a small golf- or large ping pong- or indeterminately testicle-sized ball with the right. Smoosh your ball into a square of rice on the left side of the seaweed rectangle and make a tiny button of rice on the bottom right corner for later sealing.
And then comes the bristling deep fried magic wand of crunchy battered prawn accompanied by its trusty green avocado sidekick. Hello my lovelies.
Fold, roll, press, seal, stuff into mouth awkwardly because the massive cone of awesome is too large for one bite. Mmm. Emma, one of the friendly, knowledgable, welcoming, Prosecco-pouring owners, told us about the restaurant history, chatted about their as-much-local-and-sustainable-as-possible mission, and handed out magically addictive bites of crunchy soy ginger garlic double-fried chicken. Which is great because anything double-fried makes miso very happy. She also sliced our cucumber maki into smoothly sheared little cylinders with a worryingly sharp knife. I’ve always had trouble with cutting aesthetically pleasing slices when rolling sushi at home, and that is apparently because my knives are not sharp enough to slice open the jugular vein of an armoured rhinocerous with a casual swipe. Point taken.
We got to make salmon nigiri from beautiful slices of Scottish salmon.
That enormous fatty striped piece of buttery melting perfection became this only moderately malformed little mound of nigiri.
We also got to wear aprons! Fun! Here are Chris and Abi in sexy plastic gear feasting on our handmade masterpieces.
The food just kept coming. Besides our own rather unattractive yet tasty creations, we ate eggplant skewers and prawn crackers and wasabi peas and pork gyoza and more sushi with crab and salmon and prawn tempura and stuffed ourselves to the point of nori-turn. All in all, it was a uni-quely awesome event in a great restaurant filled with lovely people. Get yourself to Tsuru prawn-to. Make sure you eat the Chicken Kara Age.
Enough puns, you say? Shoyu can’t take it anymore? Are you bento-ver in pain?
I am soy soy sorry.