Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Hunt for Toro

No, no. Not Toro the cat, but FATTY TUNA TORO. When I first saw the title of this blog -- The Toro Family -- I had to admit that it was the sushi toro that came to my mind before realizing that it was Toro the cat!

When I was in Japan last month, I was fortunate enough to be savoring the super fatty toro at different locations. Since I was staying mostly at the Higashi-Ginza area, which was a short 10-minute walk from the Tsukiji fish market, there's an abundance of super fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced toro.

My first toro splurge was an eight piece toro from 寿司割烹 豊魚 @ 中央区銀座5-9-3. The fish was fresh, and quite oily too. You can see the lines of fat across the sushi. Wow! I wish I could go back to those days when I was in Japan and had even more TORO.

When I was in Japan in 2004, I found a very good sushi restaurant in Tsukiji that specialized in TORO. The restaurant 蔵まぐろ serves top quality sushi but unfortunately closes after lunch. I found it out the hard way when I went there for dinner one evening .... however, I still took a picture!

The place has TORO from different parts of a tuna. Including those from the chin (?), back, and other places that I couldn't really recall anymore. :-(

Over the following few weeks, I tried out different places for TORO, but eventually, I settled for 江戸前びっくり寿司(Bikkuri sushi), which was only about a 5-minute walk away from my hotel. The large varieties of sushi was good, and I really liked its relaxing ambience. In fact, I went there so many times that the sushi chef there recognized me. I even got a complimentary dish from the chef on my last visit!

The toro picture showed the very last piece of TORO I had at Bikkuri. Actually, it was the last toro I had in Japan before leaving the country the next morning. The picture didn't come out too nicely, but its taste was heavenly!

One of the nicest thing at Bikkuri was its hairy crab soup (毛がに汁). At ¥315, I think it's a steal! I always ended my main course with a hot delicious crab soup. Note: I wrote "main course", and not "meal" .... as I still need to have dessert after dinner ... but I'll leave that out for now! :-)

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