In search of Sushi, part one

September 9, 2009

This post comes from my old travel blog, which I was very bad at keeping up to date and eventually lost all interest in. But to fully document my sushi quest, I feel I should repost this piece. It is dated November 8th, 2008.

One thing I left behind in Canada was the ready availability of sushi. This food had become my addiction, a craving I was always able to satisfy. Not so in Europe. There was no sushi lunches at the mall anymore (where the cute guy might show up) or quick runs to Atlantic Superstore for their cheap cucumber or avocado maki ( only four dollars!). No more stops at Pete’s Frootique and downing some sushi before dance classes. None of that. Since leaving Canada, I have had sushi exactly five times.

1. London, UK: My friend Cecilie and I had heard that there was a sushi bar on Paddington station. As my train to Bath was departing from the same place, we had waited with fulfilling this need till we our last day together. At first we didn’t see it, but then it appeared, the sushi going round and round. We grabbed two barstools and started picking dishes off the conveyor belt. Hallelujah. It had been nearly three weeks since my last sushi.

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2. Berlin, Germany: No sushi opportunities came round after London until March when I went to Berlin for a weekend to visit my friend Indra. She was doing her internship in the city at the Dutch Embassy. I had googled “sushi berlin” beforehand, but things got even better when a sushi place was on the street right behind the apartment where we staying. Even better, a starbucks was on the same corner. I got some delicious avocado/salmon maki and some cucumber the next day. They even gave us roses because it was international womens day.

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3. Stavanger, Norway: One month later, I was in Stavanger visiting my friend Cecilie who had joined me in London those months earlier as we watched fireworks and ate that sushi at Paddington Station. There was a conveyor belt sushi place in town and we headed there on my fourth night visiting. It started off well, but we soon discovered that they waited till all the dishes were gone before putting on anything new. So after twenty minutes all that we saw go round and round were the things we were not interested in. Just as we were leaving a whole new batch was put on. D’oh! Though the presence of all-you-can-eat pickled ginger was a delight!

4. Barcelona, Spain: Another google search had been done, as I was now going without any sushi in my system for over three months. I found a place downtown that had a special rate lunch menu where you picked three courses out of two options each. Sushi options. The portions were really small, but it would have to do.

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5. Paris, France: Suddenly without warning I found myself in the sushi capital of Europe. Every other restaurant was Japanese and offering sushi. They even had…. wait for it…. sushi delivery. Like the pizza delivery in other places, but then sushi. My mind was blown. I ended up not going into any of the restaurants as neither of my parents have the slightest interest in the stuff, but we did get some at a supermarket which I ate while my parents ate pasta salads. It was pretty decent.

(although there was no sushi on either crete or while I was with Pueblo Ingles, I bonded with people over a shared love and found out something incredible. In Toronto and Vancouver there is: ALL YOU CAN EAT SUSHI. So another important reason to return to Canada soon has been found. I can’t wait.)

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