The sushi quest

Posted by in Sushi

I’m on a quest to find the best sushi in Philly and its surrounding areas.

Since a young age, I’ve always had an affinity towards sushi.  I mostly blame my father, who has quite an exotic palate.  He would take me along everywhere as a kid; I was his foodie guinea pig and companion.  He would fill my plate with squid, chocolate covered crickets, chicken feet and anything else outlandish he could get his hands on.  Whenever something foreign was placed in front of me, I would give him this look of disgust and he would always counter act it with, “Olivia, just TRY it.  If you don’t like it, don’t eat it”.  Nine times out of ten, I actually liked what he presented in front of me and I started developing a taste for almost anything.  Naturally, he introduced me to sushi at the tender age of 3 years old and I’ve never looked back.  I was the kid that everyone stared at in disbelief at the sushi restaurant, stuffing my face with raw fish, octopus, and fish eggs.

But I digress.  I will recount my journey to finding the best sushi joints in Philly and Wilmington in this blog, all while writing about my other foodie experiences.

The following are some of the criteria I will judge the sushi restaurants for:

– Cleanliness of the restaurant: Restaurants should obviously be clean, but I think a sushi restaurant should be impeccably clean. I specifically take a look at the neta case (fish display case) at the sushi bar and how well the fish is wrapped and how well it presented. I also don’t want to smell a strong oil or fish smell throughout the place.

– Popularity of the restaurant: The more popular the better. High turn over = fresher fish.  Also, spotting Japanese natives is always a plus.  If they’re eating there, it must be good.

– Presentation and cut of sushi:  I’m looking for a roll that is made tightly and is visually appealing.  If the sushi chef knows his stuff, the cut of his fish will melt like butter in your mouth.  I don’t want chewy shit.  I’m also partial to white ginger instead of the artificial pink ginger.

– The ikura (fish roe): This is something specific to me, but ikura is my favorite thing to order at a sushi restaurant.  It has to be fresh, not have a super fishy taste, a nice orange color, and it needs to pop in my mouth.

Pictures from one of my favorite traditional sushi chefs out there, Mr. Chan at Sushi Tomi in Peachtree City, GA.

A variety of fish and a California roll

Futomaki roll and masago with quail egg

Chirashizushi, or “scattered fish” in Japanese.  It’s a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi