Saturday, 31 March 2012

Obento - Bristol

Why is it so bloody hard to get good sushi in the UK? We're an island! We have some great fish so why doesn't some of it make it into Japanese restaurants and end up as great sushi? We have Scallops, Crab, Clams, Eel, Sea bass, Salmon, Haddock, Sole, Trout, Monkfish, Langoustines, Shrimps and Mackerel. If it wasn't 10.00pm at night and if I hadn't already had a rather strong cocktail (at The Rummer) and a rather large bourbon (Heaven Hill from Grape and Grind) I'm sure I could name more. Maybe. 1 or 2.

So I don't get it. I don't get why sushi restaurants don't get their hands on some great raw ingredients and use them to make some great, er, raw, stuff. Sushi, sashimi, you know.

Obento in Bristol has been around for ages and I assume that any restaurant that's survived the last few years must be doing something right. Maybe they are, but it's not making good sushi. Our temaki were far, far below average. Chewing on the nori wrapping was like trying to eat clingfilm. Not exactly pleasant. And really, Salmon, Avocado and mayonnaise do not sushi make.

It's so frustrating because it's not cheap either. Why a slither of fish on a thumb size bit of a rice costs a quid is beyond me. And iced green tea really should not be over 2 quid.

That's not to say that we didn't eat anything nice. The miso was tasty and the Eel was very nice. But still, for £40 I want it all to be nice.

To be honest, we've been eating out a lot recently and this meal may well be the last for a while. For £40 we can get some nice ingredients and cook ourselves a nice meal, and wash it down with a very good bottle of wine. I'm happy paying for stuff I can't do or think of (like at Souk Kitchen), and more than happy to take advantage of the deals on offer (like The Riverstation and Cowshed) but I'm not happy paying good money for average meals which seems to happen too often.

Maybe it's not such a bad thing - it'll mean I can write about some of my own cooking for a change.

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