Nigiri set, $3.99 from Don Quijote on Kaheka street
That sure looks pretty, but in this case, you can’t judge the sushi by its cover. While the Ahi, Sanma (or Saba?), Ebi (shrimp), shellfish (which I can’t identify, but it tasted similar to clam) and tamago (egg omelet) look mouthwatering (well to me, anyway), the sushi rice underneath it was just as expected: somewhat stiff.
Those trays upon platters, upon platters and trays of colorful, beautifully-presented sushi that fill the open reefer’ cases in the supermarket are almost irresistable to NOT put one (or more) in your cart, yet I’ve found time and time again that pre-made, refrigerated sushi just doesn’t work.
For me, refrigerated rice in general doesn’t work. The rice has to be fresh-made, and cooled to room temperature. Once it hits the fridge, the only way to bring it back is by nuking it, which for sushi, is something you obviously can’t do, lest you “kill” the raw seafood topping it. Nothing against Don Quijote (I love this store!), as this is an issue no matter who the retailer is, whether its from Costco, Foodland, Star Market or anywhere else.
All that said, Sushi MUST be made-to-order. Period. No way around it, and preferably consumed within minutes after leaving the hands of the chef.
I took a small bite from each one these refrigerated “seafood and starch blocks” for a taste and ended up tossing the bulk of it. While I hate to waste food, the rice was just not good. The seafood items and tomago very fresh and nice, but the rice was a deal-breaker.
Hopefully I’ve finally learned my lesson and will not give in again to the visually-tempting appeal of pre-made refrigerated sushi.
Being in impulse shopping mode for lunch, I also picked up this beautiful looking tray of Nameko…
These tiny brown mushrooms have a gelatinous, slippery-slimy texture to them that carry onto the greens; I couldn’t tell what those were, but it was similar to Warabi (fiddle ferns), though I’m not sure. The mushrooms are fairly mild in “earthyness”. Again, that slimy coating is its most distinctive attribute. The seasoning was in the typical Fukujinsuke style of shoyu and sugar. Eating it over hot rice (which I’ll get to in a bit) made this a fairly satisfying and healthy “lunch”, even though you might regard this as being more of a side dish. I’d like to try adding Nameko (by itself) into Miso Soup. Never had it that way before, but it sounds like a winnah, being the mushroom fan that I am.
As you know, Don Quijote (a.k.a. Daiei, a.k.a. Holiday Mart) offers a variety of sub-leased eateries fronting their stores. The Kaheka location includes a take-out for Greek, Chinese, Japanese, KFC and what we have here with this Chicken Katsu plate from Yummy Korean B-B-Q…
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, my favorite part of Korean food are the variety of prepared vegetables you get to pick and choose for your meal. At Yummy’s, like most other Korean take-out eateries, you get up to 4 choices with the regular plates.
The choices for this plate include kernel corn, Sigumchi Namul (seasoned spinach) and bean thread sesame noodles. If it were my plate, I’d certainly have the Korean style seasoned potatoes on there… that’s my favorite.
The chicken katsu was done quite well, with a nice golden crispy panko crust, and the chicken moist and tender, although the cut of chicken could have been a little thicker. As it was, the panko crust was a bit more dominant than the chicken (the main part) in flavor.
Speaking of dominant flavor, I was impressed with the katsu sauce Yummy’s provided here. While it certainly ain’t no Bulldog Brand, it’s a pretty good mock-up of the traditional Japanese style “fruit & vegetable” Tonkatsu Sauce. Certainly a far cry better than Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce (bleck!.. cough cough.. spit spit). Good enough where I didn’t actually grab my handy-dandy bottle of Bulldog out of the fridge. What they gave works. I’m speaking about this plate as if it were mine, but actually I just finished the other half of what my girlfriend couldn’t finish. This made up for my lacklustre Nigiri Sushi quite nicely. Especially with the Nameko over the still-hot rice served with this Katsu plate.
Hanahou addition (11/18/08) from Yummy’s, a Kalbi plate…
This time, the Korean vegetables chosen were (left to right) Seasoned Potatoes (made with Mayonnaise), Sigumchi Namul (seasoned Spinach) and Seasoned Seaweed.
Making our shopping rounds in the Ala Moana area, we also stopped by Walmart for some household and automotive cleaning products. Greeting customers at the front right door entrance, next to the Hawaiian Telcom public telephones, I spotted this “something you’ll only see in Hawaii” Plumeria-draped TheCab dispatch phone…
All this photo needs is a hairy middle-aged man dressed as an Aunty in a mu’umu’u, wearing a lauhala hat and 1960’s era sunglasses, standing next to it holding up a sign saying “Just call TheCab at 4-tu-tu, tu-tu, tu-tu”.
Finally, walking down Kalakaua late yesterday afternoon, I spotted these radical choppers parked near the Cheesecake Factory…
What? Mean Green not loud enough for you? Then how about this?…
All this photo needs is a beautiful bikini gal standing next to it (or sitting on it) with a rainbow shave ice in her hand.
I’ll conclude by mentioning that the main reason I went shopping at Don Quijote (Daiei/Holiday Mart) was to buy Poi and some other prepared Hawaiian foods for a soon-to-come “Hanalei vs. Taro Brand Poi Shootout”. That’s gonna’ be a fun one!