furusato japanese restaurant
10012 82 ave
Things are good when you are treated to a meal. Things are even better when you are treated to a meal of your choice, which is then only surpassed by that person suggesting we try Furusato knowing I consider it to be the best sushi shop in town (here, here). Which brings me to this post and maybe, just maybe, the best sushi experience I've had in town to date.
If there is one thing I've learned about my time at Furusato it's that seats fill up fast. Forgetting they don't take reservations on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays, I attempted to call in a spot as it was already past 5. With no success on the phone, I mentioned to my fellow diners we were going to have to wing it. Lucky for us, 3 seats at the sushi bar were emptying as we walked in and we assumed our front row positions.
I don't know if it was my camera or our front row seats, but the sushi chef placed a small dish of salmon balls in front of us 'on the house'. Mentioning these were not even on the menu, the salmon balls were a success. Biting a sample in half, there were obvious chunks of salmon and seemed akin to salmon tartar, rolled into (rum ball sized) balls, lightly cooked and then tossed with some teriyaki sauce. My first ever comped item. But on to our orders and the first dish up was my medium sashimi platter. A good mix of fish including tuna, salmon, scallop, mackerel, shrimp, surf clam, octopus, and snapper. Maybe I'm a sucker for fish but I love a plate of good plate of sashimi.
Next on the bar was the special sushi, an 18 piece platter. Similar to my sashimi plate it included salmon, tuna, surf clam, shrimp, clam, octopus, snapper, as well as a tekka roll, two pieces of roe and tamago (sweet egg). Everything was deemed a success.
Finally a sushi combo box (13 pieces). While offering less nigiri, it included a California cone and spicy tekka (tuna) roll. Being an amateur sushi eater, I found this a brave choice and wasn't surprised to hear the order was a little overwhelming. The cone and spicy roll went over extremely well, but the scallop and egg didn't fair so well. Egg? I know, but my fellow diner could not get past the idea of sweetened egg. Good thing there was no inari (tofu) on the plate, as I almost consider that like dessert sushi. I was the lucky recipient of both the tuna and salmon pieces.
Feeling totally content at this point, I opted to push the limits with a little luxury. Some fatty tuna (toro) and uni (sea urchin). These two delicacies are definitely my weakness. The toro melted away with no effort and that infamous acquired uni taste was exceptional.
Standing up as we left our sushi chef asked if I had visited before. I mentioned I had on many occasions before he introduced himself as the manager. We shook hands (by touching elbows) as he introduced his mother who ran the back of the show. We briefly talked about his time preparing sushi at Furusato (13 years), and how the previous itamea had recently retired.
All in all, my experience tonight was nothing short of fantastic. A great mix of conversation, food and atmosphere. If you have never dined at Furusato, now would be a good time. A new owner, who recently closed the restaurant for 10 days to complete some renovations, has kept the staff and is, in my opinion, putting out the best sushi in Edmonton.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
furusato japanese restaurant