9 (Sat) May 2015
Special Nigiri Sushi Mori + Eta
with KD, MG, et al.
Sushi + Alpha*, Day 7. Completed a week-long sushi binge, just because I can now afford to. In college, I had reportedly proclaimed that my financial ambition in life was simply to earn enough money so that I could eat sushi every day. I was reminded of this over a recent get-together in Seoul with DP — actually, I don’t recall ever setting such a target, but it sounds like something that I would’ve said. Even back then, apparently, my primary frame of reference had been food. For a college student, I suppose that sushi would’ve been quite a luxury. And as an English lit major, getting rich obviously hadn’t been part of the plan. In any case, I’ve since attained that relatively humble measure of success, and perhaps a stretch beyond.
*In Korean, the phrase “plus alpha” — pronounced “plus al-pa” — describes “something more, a bit extra on top.” (According to MK, the Japanese use the same phrase — pronounced “plus ah-ru-fa.”)
- Izakaya Den (6.118 Sushi Moriawase Matsu…) (2.25) / 6 nigiri + 1 gunkan + 6 maki (+ soup) = 420 PHP / alpha : tako karaage (2.5)
- La Tuna (6.119 Sushi Set M…) (0.5) / 10 nigiri (+ soup + salad) = 650 PHP / beta : grilled shrimp (1.5)
- Tanabe (6.120 Tokujyuo Nigiri…) (3.25) / 9 nigiri + 1 gunkan + 6 maki (+ tofu) = 1,200 PHP + 10% / gamma : horenso tofu orentashi (2.25)
- Kushimasa (6.121 Tokojyo Nigiri Sushi Moriawase…) (1.5) / 8 nigiri + 2 gunkan + 6 maki (+ soup) = 740 PHP + 10% / delta : geso karaage (1.5)
- Ichi Go Ichi E (6.122 OmakaseNigiruSushi Matsu…) (3.0) / 9 nigiri + 3 gunkan = 780 PHP / epsilon : roast baby potatoes (2.0)
- Asunaro (6.123 Sushi Moriawase Matsu…) (2.5) / 6 nigiri + 2 gunkan + 3 maki = 880 PHP + 10% — 15% (membership) / zeta : (2.5)
- Nihonbashitei (6.124 Special Nigiri Sushi Mori…) (2.0) / 9 nigiri + 2 gunkan + 6 maki (+ soup) = 500 PHP / eta : aspara-bacon yaki (2.0)
Whereas the point of this project is to enjoy the symbolic fruits of my modest success, Manila is a poor place for implementation, particularly this part of town, where the sushi leans towards the mediocre (see generally 5.250 Assorted Sushi).
Indeed, the sushi here was a wash. Every aspect — variety, quality, construction, taste — neither here nor there, a perfect 2.0.
Ultimately, the project overall was a wash. The sushi rated an average of 2.14, while the plus alphas rated 2.04 — both just barely this side of okay. But food aside, the experience wasn’t fun. After all, luxury is luxury only when it’s luxury. Careful what you wish for.
This Malate branch of Nihonbashitei is the first restaurant that division colleagues took me to when I joined the Organization in January of last year (see generally 5.012 California Maki Roll).
For reasons of proximity and ambiance, I marginally prefer the location in Ermita (see generally 6.073 Unizoisui).
Not that it matters, as I’ll now be going to Tanabe for sushi and Asunaro for everything else.