Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chuo Sushi

Location: Chuo Sushi

Rating: Excellent
Meal:  Lunch for 1 adult and 1 child
Price:  3400 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted (rejoice!)
Dishes: See below
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Finally, an Excellent!  Chuo Sushi is the best in Yokosuka that I have yet to have.  Frankly, it's one of the best I've had anywhere.  I've broken my personal rule by not putting the actual name of the place as the title.  Everyone calls it Chuo Sushi because it's directly under Yokosuka Chuo train station.  And as you can see from the sign above, it's name is a bit long.  I think it's "Sakanasan no Shinsen Kaitenzushi" which roughly translates to Fresh Fish Market's Newfangled Sushi-go-round.  Yeah, a mouthful in any language.  I'm sticking with Chuo Sushi...rolls off the tongue much easier and has the added benefit of everyone knowing exactly what you are talking about.  Most everyone has been to Chuo station and walked by the sushi place underneath.

It is a sushi-go-round (aka track sushi), of which there are many varieties, some better and worse quality.  There are at least 2 other ones walking distance within downtown Yokosuka, but this place is in a different category.  The other places are "100 yen" sushi places, where all dishes are the same flat price.  Great if you want to stuff yourself, or have an undiscerning palate (hey, no issues with's far cheaper!).  But it's rarer to find a sushi-go-round with high quality cuts, and you are going to notice a difference in price.  You also notice a difference in quality and size of portions.  The pieces are just huge at Chuo sushi.  You are "supposed" to put an entire piece of sushi in your mouth and chew it down, but my wife can't fit them in her mouth and has to struggle with biting them in half...not easy to do with some fish.  So that's one thing she likes about the cheaper places...the pieces are much smaller.  Also, the plates differ in color and price here, so you have to pay attention or you're going to have sticker shock when it comes time to pay.  Oh, and they only take make sure you have 2000 - 3000 yen per person.  Actually, I've eaten for less than 2000 yen before by myself when sticking to the cheaper colored plates.  But I wanted some good stuff today.

Not the tanuki we saw...
My son and I have the Saturday to ourselves as my wife is off doing something related to roller-derby.  So we went down to the mall (Daie again) to see about catching a movie.  Unfortunately, it's opening day for some anime movie that has some relationship to the local area, so the line was crazy long.  Instead, we just started walking.  I love picking a direction and seeing where you end up, so we headed north to the area on the other side of the hill that separates us from another area, then we decided to see if we could get to a shrine up on top of that hill.  By the time we got up there (never found the shrine), it was just such a lovely day and we were up in a little strip of woods and nature at the top of the hill.  This strip ran down the entire length for quite a ways, so we kept following it.  Very excitingly, we saw our first wild tanuki!  It was standing in the middle of the path and looked like a cat at first, until it turned around and looked at us and you could see the unmistakable diamond face clearly.  A pity it was too far away to get a picture.  Anyway, we kept going and eventually found ourselves over by Chuo station.  After all that hiking, we were hungry, so we went for Chuo Sushi.

Mouth watering sushi to go...
Outside of the main restaurant area there is a refrigerated area where you can buy sushi to go.  It's all the same stuff they serve inside, though perhaps a little colder than it ought to be.  I suggest leaving it out to warm up a bit before eating it as rice suffers a bit from cold temperatures.  Not too long though as you don't want to die of food poisoning!  We considered taking it home, but I wanted to do a full review of the restaurant itself.

There's english on there somewhere

It's a fairly small place, seating maybe 20 people around the track, all bar stool seating.  There is frequently a line to wait to get in during lunch, but today there were only two people ahead of us, so we waited probably only 10 minutes to get seats.  You can confine yourself to what comes down the track, or if you know what you want and don't see it you can order it from the sushi chef in the middle.  It's mostly Japanese though, so it would be good to learn how to order properly.  There is a menu at each seat which also has english descriptions, but if you don't know how to order in Japanese, they ask that you just say which number on the menu corresponds to what you want.  You can also order miso soup, clam miso soup, and fish soup.  I've had them all and honestly they aren't my favorite versions.  If you want them you can ask the sushi chef or flag down a waitress.

It's really easy to overeat at this or any track sushi place as you can just keep grabbing and scarfing.  This is a pity as it will ruin the experience if you end up overfull, so my advice is to grab no more than one plate at a time and slowly savor each piece of nigiri (there are 2 per plate usually).  I could probably write a paragraph on each of the plates I got, but I'll just stop and put the pictures up.  It's always a delicious experience and they have lots of fairly unusual plates that I like to try now and then in addition to my favorites.  Without further they are (I omitted most of my son's choices as they were mostly just variations on egg):

Fatty Tuna - The most expensive but most delicious

Tobiko - flying fish roe - one of my son's favorites

Lightly torched salmon with cheesy mayo and negi, salty and flavorful

Chopped tuna, cheap but I like the texture of unchopped better
Hotate (scallop) - so creamy, and always has wasabi under there

Hotate (scallop) with stuff on - not as good as plain

Little squid with ginger, it was actually good and not chewy

Not sure what this was, but wasn't a good choice

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